Horse Profile: Medaglia d'Oro the Hard Luck Horse

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

April 1st, 2018

The favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby, unless he absolutely bombs in the Santa Anita Derby, is likely to be Bolt d'Oro. Trained by Mick Ruis and ridden by Javier Castellano, Bolt d'Oro has been the most consistent 3-year-old in the United States since pretty much his first race as a 2-year-old. There's every reason to believe that Bolt d'Oro shows up in the Triple Crown races, not just in the Kentucky Derby.

The reason is because Bolt d'Oro is sired by one of the best sires in North America, Medaglia d'Oro. Although Medaglia d'Oro's progeny have been terrific, Medaglia d'Oro himself didn't dominate on the racetrack. The reason? Bad luck.

The Bobby Frankel trainee ran into other great horses during his career. He also just flat out got unlucky in a a couple of races.  Bad luck will do you in every time on the racetrack. Check out a few of Medaglia d'Oro's toughest beats.

Horse Profile:  Medaglia d'Oro the Hard Luck Horse


2003 Pacific Classic - The Match Race with Candy Ride

What a Pacific Classic! Most felt the 2003 Pacific Classic was a match race between Medaglia d'Oro and Candy Ride. No other trainers attempted to battle those two monsters with their high rated horses. Medaglia d'Oro looked like a winner until Candy Ride stretched his legs some in the stretch. Candy Ride turned out to be more of a monster than Medaglia d'Oro in the 2003 P. Classic.

Medaglia d'Oro's "L" was just one of his close-call losses.

2002 Breeders' Cup Classic - Second to Volponi

The 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic had be the worst. He went off the favorite at around 5/2 to beat Milwaukee Brew, Came Home, War Emblem, Macho Uno, and Harlan's Holiday. Perfect Drift and E Dubai were also entered into the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic. The field was deep with 5 of the 11 entrants offering single digit odds to win.

Volponi didn't offer single-digit odds to win. He was around 43 to 1 to beat such a star-studded field. That's exactly what Volponi did. He beat Medaglia d'Oro and the rest by running the best race of his life.

2003 Breeders' Cup Classic - Second to Pleasantly Perfect

Richard Mandella owned the Breeers Cup in the late 1990's and early 2000's every time it took place at Santa Anita Park. The 2003 Breeders' Cup was no different. Why wouldn't Medaglia d'Oro, about a 3 to 1 chalk, lose the BC Classic to 14 to 1 shot Pleasantly Perfect trained by Richard Mandella?

2002 Belmont Stakes - Medaglia d'Oro finishes Second to Sarava

This had to be one of the worst beats of all time. As soon as the gates opened, War Emblem, who was going for the Triple Crown that year, fell to his knees. The Bob Baffert trainee lost all chance to win at Big Sandy and take home the Crown.

That left the race for Medaglia d'Oro to win or lose, right? Yep, and Medaglia d'Oro lost. But, get this, Medaglia d'Oro didn't just lose. He lost to 70 to 1 shot, Sarava. Sarava never won another race in his life. He never even finished in the money in any race after the 2002 Belmont Stakes.

Also, notice how far Medaglia d'Oro and Sarava were ahead of the rest of the field? That's crazy, isn't it? You dominate the entire field except the 70 to 1 shot who beats you.  Like I titled this blog, Medaglia d'Oro was a hard luck horse. Could his son, Bolt d'Oro, win the Kentucky Derby? Bolt d'Oro certainly has the talent. We'll see what happens!