Grand Sonata had to wait for running room behind a wall of horses, but when an opening finally appeared the colt took full advantage of it, shooting to the front and quickly drawing off to win the G3 Kitten’s Joy Stakes by a neck at Gulfstream Park Feb. 5.
The victory in the Kitten’s Joy marked the second straight Stakes win for the three-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro, who kicked off his sophomore season with a victory in the Listed Dania Beach Stakes on Jan. 1.
Ridden once again by jockey Tyler Gaffalione, Grand Sonata broke well and was settled just off the pace in third early, while saving ground along the inside rail. Gaffalione tipped Grand Sonata to the outside on the far turn but was forced to wait for running room behind a wall of horses in the stretch. A slight opening appeared in deep stretch and Grand Sonata went for it, shooting through and surging past rivals late to win by a determined neck over Royal Spirit.
Grand Sonata was bred in Kentucky by his owner, Whisper Hill Farm LLC, and is out of the mare A. P. Sonata (by A.P. Indy). A. P. Sonata is a daughter of the Graded Stakes-winning mare, Moonlight Sonata (G3 Arlington-Washington Lassie S.) and is a half-sister to G2 Stakes winners Wilburn (by Bernardini) and Beethoven (Sky Mesa), and to Listed winner, La Appassionata (Bernardini). Another half-sister, Venetian Sonata (also by Bernardini), is the dam of 2021 G3 Las Virgenes winner Moonlight d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro). Also hailing from the immediate family is Champion Abel Tasman.
Grand Sonata is one of two Stakes winners this year for his sire, Medaglia d’Oro, who is also represented by recent Silverbulletday Stakes winner, La Crete. In 2021, Medaglia d’Oro sired 20 Stakes winners- topping that list was the outstanding Golden Sixty, the two-time Horse of the Year in Hong Kong and recent winner of the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile for the second straight year. Other Graded Stakes winners last year include Dream Lith (G2 Golden Rod), Rockefeller (G3 Nashua), Navratilova (G3 Valley View), Vigilantes Way (G3 Eatontown), and G2 Shannon Stakes hero Yonkers (in Australia).
Medaglia d'Oro will stand the 2022 breeding season at Jonabell Farm for a fee of $100,000, stands and nurses.