Moonlight d’Oro unleashed an impressive last-to-first rally to capture the G3 Las Virgenes Stakes by one-and-a-half lengths at Santa Anita Feb. 6.
The three-year-old Medaglia d’Oro filly stamped herself as one to watch on the Kentucky Oaks trail this season. On the board when sprinting in her first two starts, Moonlight d’Oro graduated going a mile at Los Alamitos in December. The Las Virgenes marked her Stakes debut.
Sent off the 6-5 second choice in a five-horse field, Moonlight d'Oro and Flavien Prat bided their time at the back of the pack before uncorking their rally on the far turn and rocketing past the favored pacesetter Kalypso at the top of the stretch to win easily. The victory earned Moonlight d'Oro 10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks and provided jockey Prat with a third-straight Las Virgenes win.
Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella -- who has yet to win a Kentucky Oaks-- last won the Las Virgenes in 2013 with Beholder, who would go on to be second in that year's Oaks.
Moonlight d’Oro was bred in Kentucky by Stonehaven Steadings. She is out of the winning Bernardini mare, Venetian Sonata, who is a full sister to G2 Indiana Derby winner Wilburn and Listed Stakes winner, La Appassionata. Graded Stakes-winning second dam, Moonlight Sonata, is a half-sister to G1 winner Bevo, and hails from the immediate family of Champion Abel Tasman.
Medaglia d’Oro is off to a hot start in 2021, with three Graded Stakes winners so far. Leading the current roster is Golden Sixty, winner of the G1 Stewards’ Cup in Hong Kong. In addition to the Las Virgenes winner, Medaglia d’Oro is represented by the talented three-year-old colt Risk Taking, winner of the G3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct.
Medaglia d'Oro will stand the 2021 breeding season at Jonabell Farm for a fee of $150,000, stands and nurses.