Kentucky Oaks pedigrees: Curlin daughters dominate preps

Kentucky Oaks pedigrees: Curlin daughters dominate preps
Photo: Parker Waters / Eclipse Sportswire

Curlin, Medaglia d’Oro, and Frosted have daughters on the 2021 Kentucky Oaks trail, while Bernardini is continuing his legacy as a broodmare sire.

Let’s take a closer look at the pedigrees of Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra winner Clairiere, and her nemesis Travel Column, who has an intriguing backstory. Santa Ynez (G2) heroine Moonlight d’Oro and Suncoast Stakes winner Curlin’s Catch are also ones to watch.


(Curlin - Cavorting, by Bernardini)

Clairiere looked beaten in the stretch of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes down on the rail and a length behind Travel Column. Once Joe Talamo switched the Steve Asmussen trainee to the outside, she switched gears and was up in time to beat her rival by a neck. It was 6 1/2 lengths back to third-place finisher Moon Swag. A Stonestreet Stables homebred, Clairiere has a 3: 2-1-0 record and $270,492 in earnings. She earned 50 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points and sits atop the leaderboard with a total of 54 points. She earned four points when finishing second to Travel Column in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) last year.

Pedigree: Clairiere has the breeding and conformation to handle classic distances. (See pedigree chart here.)

Curlin is third by earnings on the North American general sire list. His offspring win at all distances and over all surfaces. His daughters Curlin’s Catch and Souper Sensational also are on the Oaks trial, while his son Overtook earned Derby points with a runner-up finish in the Withers Stakes (G3).

Clairiere is the first foal out of multiple Grade 1 winner Cavorting. She has a 2-year-old half-sister by Medaglia d’Oro and a full yearling brother. Cavorting was barren for 2021.

Cavorting competed against the best of her generation and twice beat 2017 champion older mare Forever Unbridled in the Personal Ensign (G1) and Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1). The mare earned $2,063,000 in 13 starts, and she was successful from six to nine furlongs.

Cavorting is the most accomplished earner from five winners in her immediate family. Her half-brother Moon Colony (Uncle Mo) won the 2019 Penn Mile (G2). Her hardy half-brother Thirstforlife (Stay Thirsty) is a veteran of 37 races and is a multiple graded stakes-placed sprinter/miler.

Clairiere’s second dam is Grade 2 winner Promenade Girl The mare was successful from a mile to nine furlongs.

The Curlin/ Bernardini bloodline cross has yielded 19 starters from 28 foals, 11 winners, and 5 stakes winners, including last year’s CCA Oaks heroine Paris Lights and 2019 Black-eyed Susan Stakes (G2) winner Point of Honor.

Travel Column

(Frosted - Swingit, by Victory Gallop)

Travel Column looked home free in the stretch of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes until she was challenged in the shadow of the wire by Clairiere. The Brad Cox trainee bested her less-experienced rival in the Golden Rod (G2) last year by a length. The pretty gray filly was bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bayne Welker Jr. and Denali Stud. She sold to OXO Equine for $850,000 from the Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sale. Travel Column has a 4: 2-1-1 record and $269,184 in earnings. She is in second place behind Clairiere on the Oaks leaderboard with 32 points.

Pedigree: Travel Column has the pedigree and conformation to handle classic distances. Her dam Swing It and sire Frosted are descended from Rene-de-course Carnival Queen. Tapit traces to through his fourth dam Carnival Princess (Prince John), and Swing It’s third dam, Carnauba (Noholme (AUS)). (See pedigree chart here.)

Multiple Grade 1 winner Frosted is off to an excellent start at stud. Tapit’s son won from eight to nine furlongs. As a 3-year-old, Frosted won the Wood Memorial (G1) before finishing fourth in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. He returned to finish second behind American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee put it all together as a 4-year-old, capturing the Whitney (G1) and Met Mile (G1) as well as the Al Maktoum Challenge (UAE Gr. 2).

Frosted is the leading second-crop sire by earnings. Besides Travel Column, who is his first graded winner, Frosted’s offspring include Santa Ynez Stakes runner-up Frosteria and Ten for Ten, who placed second in the Nashua (G3) and Remsen (G2).

Travel Column is the sixth foal and first stakes winner from six foals to race. Her half-brother Neolithic (Harlan’s Holiday) is multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed at nine and ten furlongs, including runner-up finishes in the 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and Dubai World Cup (UAE Gr. 1).

Travel Column’s 2-year-old half-brother, Corton Charlemagne (American Pharoah), was a $1,250,000 purchase by Speedway Stables from the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase. They have a yearling half-brother by 2018 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile hero, City of Light.

Their dam Swingit is a multiple-listed-winning turf miler. She captured the Jessamine Stakes as a 2-year-old and continued her winning ways with victories in the Edgewood Stakes and Furl Sail Handicap. Swingit’s half-sister Singit (Sultry Song) is a stakes-winning turf sprinter.

Travel Column’s fourth dam has a harrowing story with a happy ending. Carnauba, a daughter of Carnival Queen, was the Italian champion 2-year-old and champion 3-year-old filly who was kidnapped by Italian horsenappers and held for $250,000 ransom. Owner Nelson Bunker Hunt refused to pay a dime. Desperate, the horsenappers, in constant contact over four months, lowered their ransom to $13,000. Hunt agreed, and arrangements were made to toss the money over a hedge. Hunt got the police involved, cleverly made up a bundle of old newspapers and tossed the money. The police rounded up the group of six horsenappers but were unable to find Carnauba. The horsenappers had hidden the filly in a girls school riding academy. The high-spirited Carnauba was too high-spirited for the youngsters to handle, and Carnauba was eventually sent to a butcher’s yard. Fortunately, Carnauba was found slightly the worse for wear. She was shipped to Hunt’s Blue Grass Farm, where she happily lived out her life.

Moonlight d’Oro

(Medaglia d'Oro - Venetian Sonata, by Bernardini)

Moonlight d’Oro was successful in her first graded stakes attempt and won the Las Virgenes (G3) by 1 1/2 lengths over Santa Ynez Stakes winner Kalypso. The Richard Mandella trainee has a 4: 2-1-1 record and $163,040 in earnings. Her Las Virgenes (G3) victory netted her 10 Oaks qualifying points. Stonehaven Steadings bred Moonlight d’Oro. Spendthrift Farm bought her for $620,000 from the Keeneland September yearling sale, and she’s campaigned in conjunction with MyRacehorse.

Pedigree: Moonlight d’Oro has the pedigree and conformation to handle middle to classic distances. (See pedigree chart here.)

Medaglia d’Oro is consistently ranked in the top 20 of the North American General Sire List. His son Risk Taking captured the Withers Stakes (G3) the same day that Moonlight d’Oro won the Las Virgenes, and his daughter Javanica was a gallant second against the boys in the El Camino Real Derby.

Moonlight d’Oro is the fourth foal and third winner out of Venetian Sonata. Her half-sister Olive Branch (Speightstown) was third in the 2016 Adirondack Stakes (G2). Venetian Sonata has a yearling Justify colt.

Venetian Sonata’s full brother Wilburn won the Indiana Derby (G2) and Smarty Jones Stakes, while her sister La Appassionata is a stakes-winning sprinter. Their half-brother Beethoven (Sky Mesa) captured the 2008 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).

Moonlight d’Oro’s second dam Moonlight Sonata (Carson City), was a precocious sprinter/miler, winning the Arlington-Washington Lassie, then a Grade 3. The third generation also includes 2017 champion 3-year-old filly Abel Tasman (Quality Road), who is out of Moonlight Sonata’s half-sister Vargas Girl (Deputy Minister. Moonlight Sonata’s half-brother Bevo (Prospectors Gamble) captured the Belmont Futurity (G1) and Saratoga Special (G2).

The Medaglia d’Oro/ Bernardini bloodline cross has produced 10 starters from 18 foals, with six winners and two stakes winners.

Curlin’s Catch

(Curlin - Catch the Thrill, by A.P. Indy)

Curlin’s Catch made short work of six Kentucky Oaks hopefuls in the listed Suncoast Stakes at 1 mile 40 yards at Tampa Bay Downs. The Mark Casse trainee led gate to wire, drawing away by 4 1/2-lengths. The bay filly has a 4: 2-1-0 record with $103,454 in earnings. She owns 10 Oaks qualifying points. Sam-Son Farm bred Curlin’s Catch. The filly sold for $180,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sales and returned in the OBS April 2-year-olds In Training Sale, where she attracted $430,000 from Breeze Easy LLC.

Pedigree: Curlin’s Catch is bred to run all day. (See pedigree chart here.)

Curlin’s Catch is the seventh foal and first stakes winner in her immediate family. Her three-quarter sister is a stakes-placed sprinter. Their half-sister Tizn’t Caught (Tiznow) bore stakes-placed sprinter Catherine the Great (Into Mischief). Curlin’s Catch’s full 2-year-old brother was a $290,000 RNA at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Catch the Thrill is the only stakes winner out of Canada’s 2000 champion 3-year-old filly, Catch the Ring (Seeking the Gold). Catch the Thrill won the restricted Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine at 1 1/6 miles as a 2-year-old. Three half-siblings, Cognashene (Dynaformer), Finn’s Jewel (Giant’s Causeway), and Kitten’s Boy (Kitten’s Joy) are restricted stakes placed at Woodbine, although Cognashene did finish third in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes.

The class continues with the third dam, Radiant Ring (Halo). The mare raced for four years, earning $775,478 in 33 starts. She was a multiple Grade 2 and 3 winner and placed in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1).

The Curlin/A.P. Indy bloodline cross has produced 42 starters from 68 foals. 29 are winners, and six are stakes winners, including last year’s Woodward Handicap (G1) winner Global Campaign and Demoiselle (G2) winner Malathaat.

Meet Laurie Ross

 HRN Pedigree Analyst 


 Published Author

 Pedigree Research/Consultation/Sales 

 ThoroFan Board Member

 Member – NTWAB

Through hands-on work at barns, I learned valuable lessons about Thoroughbred conformation, gait, and temperament and later worked withThoroughbred rescue/re-train organizations. I have committed my passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last 20 years. 

I support clients with all aspects of pedigree/breeding analysis, research, sales, catalogue review, and recommendations on claims or private sales. Clients include national leading owners, racing/breeding syndicates, the little guy with one mare, and everyone in between. 10-20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue & retraining groups. Check out my website, Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds, and the IMTBreds blog.

I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping, and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic, please contact me. 

Twitter: @IMTBreds
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