On breeding: Golden start for Golden Lad

by | Jan 6, 2020 | Breaking, Breeding, Opinion, Regionwide, Top Stories

Hello Beautiful won the Maryland Million Lassie. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Northview Stallion Station’s freshman sire Golden Lad enjoyed a strong season in 2019, with his progeny hitting high notes on the racetrack as well as in the sales ring.

From his first crop, Golden Lad has sired 10 winners from 18 starters, with two blacktype winners and one blacktype-placed horse, with total crop earnings of $666,471 through December 31. That ranked him among the top 20 stallions on the national first-crop sire list and as the top freshman sire in the Mid-Atlantic region.

His first stakes winner, Madaket Stables et al’s Hello Beautiful, won the Maryland Million Lassie Stakes at Laurel Park October 19, followed by the Maryland Filly Juvenile Championship Stakes at Laurel December 7, to end the season with earnings of $166,558. On the same card, Joseph Besecker’s Laddie Liam captured the Maryland Juvenile Futurity, which increased his total earnings to $128,556. Both Hello Beautiful and Laddie Liam were bred by Ellen Charles’ Hillwood Stables.

Three days after his stakes win, Laddie Liam topped the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed sale at Timonium, selling as part of the Besecker dispersal. Bought by Besecker for $14,500 at last year’s December Mixed sale, the colt was sold to D J Stable for $450,000.

Another son of Golden Lad, Mine Not Mine, purchased by Besecker for $72,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling sale, sold to Charles J. Zacney for $210,000 at the December Mixed sale. Mine Not Mine finished fourth in the Maryland Juvenile Futurity behind Laddie Liam in only his second start, having broken his maiden in his debut at Laurel Park in November.

Golden Lad has also sired She’smysunshine, a modestly-priced auction yearling who placed in the Parx Juvenile Fillies Stakes November 4 for owner Emerald Racing Stable.

“From day one, I thought Golden Lad had a good shot to make it as a stallion,” said Paul O’Loughlin, bloodstock manager for Northview Stallion Station. “He has a beautiful pedigree, and he’s a big, beautiful horse. And breeders have really liked him, too, as he’s bred large books in each of his first three seasons. Since Laddie Liam and Hello Beautiful became stakes winners, the phone has been ringing off the hook, and he’s already booked to 100 mares for 2020, which I expect will increase to about 120 mares.”

Golden Lad’s two stakes winners, Laddie Liam and Hello Beautiful, are both out of mares that were trained by Rodney Jenkins, the primary conditioner for Ellen Charles’ Hillwood Stables, who is the breeder for both stakes winners.

Laddie Liam’s is out of the Quiet American mare Buffgirl, a half-sister to the dam of millionaire Prayer for Relief. Hillwood Stables bought Buffgirl for $380,000 at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training, and Laddie Liam is her first stakes winner. She is inbred 4D X 5D X 5D to Dr. Fager.

Hello Beautiful is out of the winning Tiznow mare Hello Now, who was sold by Lane’s End for $100,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. Second dam Hello Liberty, a daughter of Forest Camp, is a graded stakes winner and half-sister to stakes winner Pious Ashley.

Both Laddie Liam and Hello Beautiful have Fappiano in their female families; Fappiano is the sire of Quiet American, who in turn sired Buffgirl, while he is also the sire of Hello Beautiful’s fourth dam, Most Likely.

Neither of the dams of Golden Lad’s stakes winners accomplished much on the track. Buffgirl was winless in her five-race career, while Hello Now won once in four starts.

By contrast, Golden Lad was a solid runner, indeed.

Bred and campaigned by E. Paul Robsham Stables LLC, Golden Lad was from the fourth crop of top sire Medaglia d’Oro. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Golden Lad did not race at two but went on to put together a record of eight wins from 15 starts and $645,320. In addition to setting a track record at Gulfstream Park for a mile and a sixteenth, he captured a pair of graded stakes, the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park and the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, before retiring to Northview at a $5,000 stud fee.

“Golden Lad has the sire power, a wonderful family, an impressive race record, and his conformation is outstanding,” noted David Wade, Northview’s general manager, in announcing his retirement to Maryland. “Rarely does a stallion prospect like this get introduced into a regional market.”

Golden Lad is out of the stakes-winning Seeking the Gold mare Broadway Gold, and is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Broadway’s Alibi, who captured the Gr. 2 Forward Gal and Gr. 3 Comely Stakes and was second in the Gr. 1 Kentucky Oaks, as well as multiple stakes winner and Grade 1-placed R Gypsy Gold.

His second dam is graded stakes-placed Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat, who produced Gr. 1 Florida Derby winner and successful sire Dialed In. Third dam Eliza was champion 2-year-old filly and captured the Gr. 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes as well as the Gr. 1 Santa Anita Oaks, and earned more than $1 million.

“His foals are very athletic, and they’ve sold well as weanlings, yearlings, and 2-year-olds,” O’Loughlin said of Golden Lad. “You get a lot for his $5,000 stud fee.”

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About The Author

Linda Dougherty

Linda Dougherty has been writing about horse racing since 1990 for publications such as Daily Racing Form, The Blood-Horse and Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred. Follow her on Twitter @PaThoroughbred.

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