As a top class racehorse with a top-class pedigree — including a female family that has produced numerous successful stallions — we love Higher Power’s chances to make it in the breeding shed and are excited to be able to send a fast young mare to his first book in You Made It.
Originally campaigned as a homebred for Pin Oak Stud, Higher Power broke his maiden in his second start at 2YO when stretched to a mile, then returned to take an Oaklawn allowance in his 3YO debut over New York Central. He finished 3rd later that spring in Oaklawn’s Northern Spur Stakes. As a 4YO, Higher Power took a Fair Grounds allowance before selling at auction for $250,000 to David Ingordo for Hronis Racing. On the West Coast, Higher Power captured a mile turf allowance and finished a close 2nd in the grassy Wickerr Stakes, before his breakthrough performance in the G1 Pacific Classic when — stretched to the classic distance of 1-1/4 miles — he romped home 5 lengths clear and earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure. On the board thereafter in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Awesome Again Stakes, Gold Cup at Santa Anita, and the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap, Higher Power heads to stud in 2021 at Darby Dan Farm with a record of (20) 5-2-7, $1,594,648.
As mentioned, he’s a half-brother to the multiple graded stakes winner Alternation, who is the sire of G1 Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress among his eight stakes winners so far. Their dam, Alternate, is a half-sister to Canadian Horse of the Year and successful sire Peaks and Valleys, and the Grade 1 winner and veteran sire Broken Vow is also a member of this female family.
Higher Power’s sire, Medaglia d’Oro, is one of the top stallions in the country these days, and many of his best runners have been produced from A.P. Indy-line mares like You Made It. Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty, other Grade 1 winners Bolt d’Oro and Dickinson, the exciting young sire prospect Enticed (G2W), and 2021 graded winners Moonlight d’Oro and Beautiful Gift are all bred on this cross (TrueNicks rates the match a “B” after it was a “C+” last week — thanks to the recent graded victory by Beautiful Gift). With Congrats mares specifically, sons of Medaglia d’Oro have produced 7 foals of racing age so far, 6 of which have run and 5 of which have won, for total earnings of $333,946. And because You Made It is out of a Holy Bull mare herself, her pedigree shares some similarities with Bernardini (Holy Bull’s sire Great Above is by a son of Rough ‘N Tumble out of a daughter of Aspidistra, while Bernardini’s broodmare sire Quiet American is inbred to Dr. Fager, who is by Rough ‘N Tumble out of Aspidistra), and Bernardini is the broodmare sire of the aforementioned Moonlight d’Oro, as well as of Serengeti Empress — who is sired by Higher Power’s half-brother Alternation. Holy Bull also happens to appear as the sire of the second dam of 11 foals, 9 of them runners and 6 winners, by sons of Medaglia d’Oro — one of which is the stakes winner Molto Bella (good for 8% stakes winners/foals so far).
There are several reasons in addition to her pedigree that we believe makes You Made It a good match for Higher Power. Whereas he broke his maiden at a mile and scored his biggest victory going 10 furlongs, she won her 8 races from 4-1/2 furlongs to 6-1/2 furlongs, so this is a very traditional case of the successful pattern of breeding a fast mare to a stouter stallion. We also like that both Higher Power and You Made It were winners on both turf and dirt. And physically they should be a good pairing, as well — he’s a good-sized, well-balanced horse, and she’s a bit more compact and powerfully-made filly who could use an infusion of leg, which Higher Power should give her foal.
All of which, we hope, means a foal from this match that will have what it takes to “make it” to the winner’s circle in a few years’ time!
Higher Power wins the G1 Pacific Classic