Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Anneau d’Or

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

August 1st, 2020

In theory, it’s impossible to know whether a given horse will handle a particular distance or racing surface until they give it a try. But pedigrees can provide clues, and unless hard evidence emerges to suggest otherwise, we have to assume 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Anneau d’Or will relish the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Kentucky Derby.

Anneau d'Or Pedigree
El Prado (IRE)
Medaglia d'Oro
Cappucino Bay
Anneau d'Or
Walk Close
Spring Awakening

Seemingly every corner of Anneau d’Or’s pedigree is packed with classic stamina, starting with his sire, Medaglia d’Oro. Winner of the 1 1/4-mile Travers (G1) and runner-up in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (G1), Medaglia d’Oro has sired an abundance of Grade 1 winners. 2009 Horse of the Year and Preakness (G1) winner Rachel Alexandra was an early star, and the years since have seen Medaglia d’Oro sire Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Talismanic, Alabama (G1) winners Songbird and Elate, Queen’s Plate victor Wonder Gadot, Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power, and Rodeo Drive (G1) winner Marketing Mix—all major winners running 1 1/4 miles or farther.

The average winning distance of Medaglia d’Oro’s runners is a solid 7.7 furlongs, similar to the 7.6 rating achieved by Anneau d’Or’s damsire, Tapit. A three-time leading sire in North America, Tapit was a quality racehorse, counting a victory in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (G1) as his most notable triumph. But his progeny have achieved far greater success, with Belmont Stakes winners Tonalist, Creator, and Tapwrit demonstrating Tapit’s ability to sire long-winded classic types.

Certainly Tapit passed stamina on to Anneau d’Or’s dam, Walk Close. Produced by two-time stakes winner and Del Mar Debutante (G1) runner-up Spring Awakening, Walk Close handled 1 3/16 miles just fine when rallying to win the 2015 Modesty H. (G3) over the Arlington Park turf course.

There are other sources of stamina farther back in Anneau d’Or’s pedigree. Tapit’s grandsire is A.P. Indy, the 1992 Horse of the Year and Belmont Stakes winner responsible for some of the stoutest bloodlines in modern pedigrees. And Medaglia d’Oro is a son of El Prado, sire of 2004 champion turf male Kitten’s Joy, himself an influential stallion who has sired the top-class turf stars Big Blue Kitten, Stephanie’s Kitten, Real Solution, Hawkbill, Sadler’s Joy, Oscar Performance, Roaring Lion, Henley’s Joy, and Diplomat—all Grade 1 winners traveling at least 1 1/4 miles.

It’s obvious even from a glance that Anneau d’Or has the pedigree to excel over the Kentucky Derby distance. A subtler takeaway is the potential for Anneau d’Or to thrive on turf, since his dam was best on the lawn and Medaglia d’Oro hails from a sire line associated with quality grass runners. Considering Anneau d’Or won his debut by eight lengths going a mile on turf, he’ll have the option to switch surfaces if his Kentucky Derby aspirations don’t work out.