We started our last Mating Recommendation post dealing with Starr Gate by commenting that it’s always a good idea, during breeding season, to have a back-up plan in mind, and we are now on to our “Plan C” with Starr Gate after our first two choices didn’t pan out for a variety of reasons. But as far as back-up plans go, we couldn’t be much happier that she’s now been covered by the promising young Maryland sire Golden Lad.
A winner of 8 of his 15 career starts, including a pair of Grade 3 races and two other stakes, Golden Lad covered more mares in the state of Maryland than any other sire his first year at stud — and that crop is 2-year-olds of this year. Though none of Golden Lad’s offspring have yet reached the races, he did just have a pair of 2-year-olds sell for six-figures at Timonium earlier this week — one colt brought $175,000 from renowned agent Gary Young, while another brought $120,000 — and the reports have been strong on his stock, so we believe he’s poised to have a big year.
As a son of leading sire Medaglia d’Oro, Golden Lad nicks quite well with mares from the A.P. Indy sire-line like Starr Gate, who is by A.P. Indy’s son Mineshaft. In fact, from just 12 foals sired by Medaglia d’Oro or his sons and out of Mineshaft mares, there are 7 winners including Grade 2 winner Enticed (good for 8.3%), while the broader Medaglia d’Oro/A.P. Indy nick has also produced Grade 1 winners Bolt d’Oro, Plum Pretty and Dickinson.
Despite being by Mineshaft, who himself crafted a Horse of the Year campaign at 4 with seven two-turn Graded victories, including two at the classic distance of 1-1/4 miles, Starr Gate was a very fast sprinter who takes after her female family, which is full of quite quick runners. For instance, her dam, Stellar, was a debut-winning 2-year-old sprinting who then placed in a Grade 2 sprint in her second start, and at 3 won a 6-furlong stakes race. Stellar’s half-brother, Gygistar, won the G1 King’s Bishop and the G2 Riva Ridge, both going 7 furlongs. Their dam won once from two starts at 2, and she is out of the Grade 2-placed 2-year-old Ellie Milove, a Dr. Fager half-sister to Champion Sprinter Eillo. On top of all that, Starr Gate looks like a sprinter — she is close-coupled and stocky with very muscular hindquarters, though she is a tall mare with plenty of leg, also.
This makes her a nice match for the strapping and scopey Golden Lad, who — although his four stakes victories all came around two turns and he never won at a shorter distance than a mile — had plenty of tactical speed, so this match should result in a foal that’s plenty fast and plenty early!
Golden Lad colt who brought $175,000 at FT Midlantic
Golden Lad colt who brought $120,000 at FT Midlantic
Enticed, by Medaglia d’Oro out of a Mineshaft mare, wins the G3 Gotham