Prevalence: Godolphin’s latest Triple Crown threat

Prevalence: Godolphin’s latest Triple Crown threat
Photo: Liz Lamont/Eclipse Sportswire

Prevalence is the latest buzz horse on the 2021 Kentucky Derby trail after two spectacular performances at Gulfstream Park.

Prevalence showed professionalism in both starts. He moved through a narrow opening on the rail in his debut and opened up with little encouragement from Tyler Gaffalione. Next time out, Prevalence broke from the far outside. He broke a little outward yet had enough speed to press the pace. He settled nicely on the outside and took over in the stretch with little urging. Prevalence has two scores from two starts and earnings of $52,800.

[RELATED: 5 long shots that could be Kentucky Derby contenders]

Trainer Brendan Walsh now has his pick of Kentucky Derby preps for Prevalence. Wheeling back in the Florida Derby (G1) in two weeks and facing Greatest Honour seems unlikely for the conservative Walsh. The Blue Grass (G2) or Wood Memorial (G2), both on April 3, or possibly the Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 10, seems more likely.

Godolphin’s breeding program is second to none. Prevalence joins last year’s 2-year-old champ Essential Quality and multiple graded-placed Proxy as Godolphin’s main threats on this year’s Triple Crown trail.

Prevalence (Medaglia d'Oro - Enrichment, by Ghostzapper) has classic breeding, although there is plenty of classy speed in his distaff line. Additionally, he has turf attributes in his pedigree, and a couple of his half-siblings won on the lawn, so the option is there if his Derby dreams don’t pan out. (Click here to see his pedigree chart.)

The bay son of Medaglia d'Oro switches leads properly and keeps a straight line down the stretch. He has a smooth gait with no paddling or wasted movement.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Medaglia d'Oro (el Prado (Ire)) competed with the best of his generation for four years. Conditioned by the late, great Bobby Frankel, Medaglia d'Oro definitely improved with maturity, finishing first or second in every race of his career, other than the 2002 Kentucky Derby (fourth) and Preakness (eighth).

Medaglia d'Oro wasn’t a true classic horse. In seven starts at 10 furlongs, Medaglia d'Oro was successful only once, winning the Travers (G1) as he held on by a shrinking half-length in 2:02.53. He also finished second in the Belmont Stakes.

Fans often think of Medaglia d'Oro as the sire of great fillies since they are his most accomplished offspring. Champions Songbird, Rachel Alexandra, and Wonder Gadot, plus multiple Grade 1 winners Marketing Mix and Elate, are among his lifetime top performers. However, Medaglia d’Oro’s sons are noteworthy, too, including Grade 1 winners Mshawish, Bolt D’oro, Violence, his Australian champion Vancouver and phenomenal Golden Sixty, who owns 16 straight wins.

Prevalence is the fifth foal out of the unraced Enrichment (Ghostzapper - Sahara Gold, by Seeking the Gold). His half-brother Estihdaaf (Arch) won the 2019 U.A.E. Two Thousand Guineas (G3 UAE), and half-sister Libreta (Girolamo) won the restricted Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Stakes. Enrichment has an unnamed 2-year-old son of Quality Road and a yearling son by Frosted.

Enrichment has three stakes-winning siblings. The most accomplished is her full sister, the versatile Better Lucky, a Grade 1 winning miler over the lawn, who had runner-up finishes in the Madison (G1) over Keeneland’s Polytrack and the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on the dirt. The mare amassed $1,278,950 in 20 starts. Better Lucky bore a pair of stakes-placed runners: Kentucky Wildcat (Tapit), who placed in the 2019 Sam F. Davis (G3), and his full brother Tapwood, who was third in last year’s Saratoga Special. 

Enrichment’s full brother Final Frontier won the 2019 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational, while her half-brother Sahara Heat (A.P. Indy) won the Marine Stakes (G3) over Woodbine’s Polytrack.

Prevalence’s second dam is the sprinter Sahara Gold (Seeking the Gold). The mare won or placed in eight of 12 starts, including the seven-furlong Beaumont Stakes (G2).

Sahara Gold’s full sister, the stakes-placed sprinter Ensenada, is the only other blacktype earner out of Prevalence’s third dam, 1995 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) heroine Desert Stormer (Storm Cat).

Desert Stormer hit the board in 14 of 17 starts, cumulating in her stunning victory over a strong field of colts in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Desert Stormer dueled throughout the Sprint, pulling clear by a neck over Mr. Greeley, who went on to a strong career as a stallion. The strong field included future Breeders’ Cup winners Da Hoss and Lit De Justice, plus Our Emblem, the eventual sire of Kentucky Derby hero War Emblem.

Despite bearing only two blacktype producers, Desert Stormer’s class extends to the third and fourth generations of her family.  Ensenada’s son, Casino Host (Dynaformer), is a Grade 2-winner and Grade 1 placed turf router. The fourth-generation includes two-time stakes-winning sprinter Black Ops, Cordon, a multiple stakes-placed turf router, and stakes-placed miler Irish Polo.

2004’s Horse of the Year Ghostzapper (Awesome Again - Baby Zip, by Relaunch) received a boost to his broodmare sire status when Justify won the 2018 Triple Crown. A few years earlier, in 2016, Drefong earned Champion Sprinter honors. The Medaglia d'Oro/Ghostzapper bloodline cross has yielded two starters and one winner from three foals. There's a small promise of two winners from two starters going back a generation to the Medaglia d'Oro/Awesome Again cross.

Prevalence seems to have it all. He’s professional on the track and boasts a classy pedigree. The main question is this: If Prevalence wins his sole Kentucky Derby qualifier, will he have enough foundation and experience to handle 19 other horses at 1 1/4 miles? Stay tuned.

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
Facebook: IMTBreds
LinkedIn: Laurie Ross

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