It may not have been as overwhelming a victory as fans were expecting, but Champion Songbird did just what she had to do and cruised to a one-length victory in the G1 Delaware Handicap.
The four-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro is now two-for-two in 2017, and is 13 for 14 overall. Songbird’s only defeat was a narrow nose loss to fellow Champion Beholder in the 2016 G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
A field of five went to the post for the historic Delaware Handicap, with Songbird the heavy 1-9 favorite. Breaking alertly under regular rider Mike Smith, Songbird went right to the front and was on cruise control from that point on. In the stretch, longshot Martini Glass ranged up to challenge the longtime leader, but Songbird turned her rival away and crossed the wire a one-length winner.
Bred in Kentucky by John Antonelli, Songbird was purchased for $400,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale by Fox Hill Farm. Songbird is out of Ivanavinalot, who captured the G2 Bonnie Miss and was second in the G2 Davona Dale as a three-year-old.
Medaglia d’Oro is the sire of nine stakes winners in 2017, including fellow G1 winners New Money Honey and Dickinson. No other stallion in North American has as many G1 winners this year. In the sales ring, he was represented by the $1 million sale-topping filly at the recent Fasig-Tipton July Sale. That matched the highest price for a filly ever sold at that venue and brings to six the total number of sale-topping yearlings he’s sired in the past 10 years. Again, no other sire can match that feat.