Pricey Curlin Filly Sedona Produces a 'Rising Star' Debut

SedonaRyan Thompson

It wasn't the fanciest of jumps from the gate but it was the kick in the late stages which mattered, carrying Sedona (f, 3, Curlin–America {GSW & MGISP, $580,532}, by A.P. Indy) past her rivals to a first-out victory and on to 'TDN Rising Star' honors.

The 8-5 favorite as the betting public set their sights on her royalty-befitting auction price and pedigree, the flashy chestnut took some time to find her feet as the entire field, save for one filly who never was involved, disputed affairs at the front. Eventual runner-up Neat Trick (Good Magic) was pressing the issue from four off the fence, and fractions sailed by in :22.68 and :45.55 splits. Still chasing that group and now with a wall of horses in front of her as they made the swing into the lane, Sedona angled out five wide to find racing room and produced an eye-catching rally when the opportunity arose. She overhauled Neat Trick by a half-length as that one held off On Command (Omaha Beach) to claim second. Sedona is Curlin's 25th 'Rising Star'.

“I think she's a classy filly,” said winning trainer Shug McGaughey. “She's really come around the last month. I was kind of not satisfied with her earlier in the winter, development-wise. About three weeks ago, I was up there, and she worked really well. I think her development is good. I like to see her run this way, where she goes on and finish–because they learn–instead of being on the lead.”


A full-sister to multiple Graded winner 'TDN Rising Star' First Captain, who himself sold for $1.5-million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling sale in 2019 to familiar connections, Sedona is the most recent to the races for America. In addition to that full-brother, there is a full-sister American Caviar who never made it to the races, and last produced a now yearling colt by Uncle Mo. That sister RNA'd at the 2023 Keeneland November sale for $390,000 while her Uncle Mo sold to AAA Thoroughbreds for $510,000 in the same ring.

America had her own offspring by the stallion, producing unplaced Kid America (Uncle Mo), a $550,000 RNA at KEESEP in 2021, as well as a 2-year-old colt who missed his reserve at FTKOCT in 2023 when the last bid came in at $345,000. She has since produced a yearling full-sister to Sedona and is due to Gun Runner this season.

Their dam has her own sales stories to tell having never hit her reserve in a public auction. The multiple Grade I-placed racemare first went unsold as a yearling for $725,000 at KEESEP '12, and later at the Fasig-Tipton November sale, an RNA in 2019 at $3.1-million and then again in 2023 when the final bid fell short at $1.2-million.

Along with the busy first dam, this is also the female family of Paris Bikini, who is now in Japan after selling for $1.95-million in 2020 to Katsumi Yoshida while in foal to Uncle Mo. Her claim to fame is by way of her daughter, GISW Paris Lights (Curlin), who sold to Spendthrift Farm for $3.1-million at KEENOV in 2021. In the extended family, Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour makes an appearance as well as European champion Peeping Fawn.

7th-Gulfstream, $70,000, Msw, 3-3, 3yo, f, 7f, 1:24.24, ft, 1/2 length.
SEDONA, f, 3, by Curlin
           1st Dam: America {GSW & MGISP, $580,532}, by A.P. Indy
           2nd Dam: Lacadena, by Fasliyev
           3rd Dam: Butterfly Blue (Ire), by Sadler's Wells
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $42,000. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV and for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
O-Woodford Racing, LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds and Chris Larsen; B-B. Flay Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Claude R. McGaughey III. *$2,000,000 Ylg '22 FTSAUG. **Full to First Captain, MGSW & GISP, $662,100.

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