It was announced August 31st that Medaglia d’Oro‘s four-year-old daughter Songbird has been retired from racing following a brilliant career in which she captured nine G1 races and won back-to-back Eclipse Awards.
Owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Songbird burst onto the scene as a two-year-old in July 2015, breaking her maiden on debut at Del Mar by 6.5 lengths and earning TDN Rising Star status. She immediately stepped up to G1 company and easily won the G1 Del Mar Debutante at Del Mar and the G1 Chandelier at Santa Anita, before capping off an undefeated season with a dominant front-running victory in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland. Her stellar juvenile campaign led to her winning her first Eclipse Award as 2015 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.
G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
To start off her three-year-old year in 2016 Songbird won four straight at Santa Anita, namely the G2 Las Virgenes, G3 Santa Ysabel, G1 Santa Anita Oaks, and G2 Summertime Oaks, before shipping east to Saratoga to capture two of America’s oldest and most prestigious races for three-year-old fillies, the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks and G1 Alabama. She then headed to Parx in September for a dominant victory in the G1 Cotillion.
In her final start as a three-year-old, she would face older horses for the first time in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita in a highly anticipated matchup with the six-year-old multiple Eclipse Award winner Beholder. After setting the pace throughout, Songbird went head-to-head with Beholder through the lane and lost the photo finish by a nostril in what must be considered one of the greatest Breeders’ Cup stretch battles of all time. Songbird lost absolutely nothing in defeat, and was unanimously named Eclipse Champion Three-Year-Old Filly of 2016.
Songbird returned this year for a four-year-old season, in which she won two more G1 races – the G1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont and the G1 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park. In her final career start, she was narrowly beaten by multiple G1 winner Forever Unbridled in the G1 Personal Ensign at Saratoga.
Songbird finishes her career with 13 wins from 15 starts and earnings of almost $4.7 million. Consistently brilliant, she never finished out of the top two, and was only beaten a nose and a neck in her two defeats. In addition, Songbird’s nine G1 victories by the end of August of her four-year-old campaign has only ever been topped by the great Serena’s Song.
Ever a fan-favorite, Songbird will certainly be remembered as one of the greatest fillies in the history of American racing, and it likely won’t be long before she receives a deserved spot in the Hall of Fame. Thanks for all the thrills, Songbird!
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