Robert and Lawana Low’s Sweet Melania (American Pharoah), a narrow runner-up in the P.G. Johnson S. at Saratoga in August, became the second graded stakes winner of the week for her Triple Crown-winning sire with a 5 1/4-length victory in the GII JPMorgan Chase Jessamine S. at Keeneland Wednesday. The eye-catching performance earned the filly a berth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Four Wheel Drive (American Pharoah) earned a spot in the GII Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint with his victory in Sunday’s GIII Futurity S. at Belmont Park.
“To win any kind of stakes race, a “Win and You’re In” race [at Keeneland] is fantastic, so we’re looking forward to going to California [for the Breeders’ Cup],” said Robert Low.
Sent off at 3-1 in the Jessamine, Sweet Melania forced the issue from second as Jezebel’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) had the lead through an opening quarter in :23.29. She took over and began to edge clear down the backstretch and ran away and hid from them in the stretch to score by 5 1/2 lengths. Witez (More Than Ready) was second; Ask Bailey (Run Away and Hide) was third.
“The way she broke today, I knew she was going to be there,” said winning rider Jose Ortiz. “In the first turn, I had Florent [Geroux on Jezebel’s Kitten] trail me, and Sweet Melania was a little keen. As soon as I completely got the lead, she relaxed well and I cruised to the quarter pole. When I asked her to go, she switched leads and gave me a great turn of foot.”
Sweet Melania opened her career with a pair of third-place efforts sprinting over the main tracks at Belmont May 2 and at Monmouth Park June 1. She graduated when switched to the turf and stretched out to 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga July 14 and missed by just a neck when second behind Crystalle (Palace Malice) in the Aug. 29 P.G. Johnson S. over that same course and trip last time out.
The Lows purchased Sweet Melania for $600,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September sale.
“[Bloodstock agent] Jacob West found her for us and Todd [Pletcher] approved her, so we bought her,” Low said of the purchase. “We love this filly and are really excited to see her. The way she moves; she has that American Pharoah walk. She was great.”
Sweet Melania is the fourth stakes winner and third graded winner for American Pharoah, following GIII Futurity S. winner Four Wheel Drive and G3 Prix du Bois winner Maven.
The late J J Crupi signed for the 4-year-old Sweet N Discreet (Discreet Cat) on behalf of Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias Stables for $1.1 million at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November sale. Sweet Melania is the stakes-winning and graded-placed mare’s second foal. A half-sister to graded stakes winner Travelin Man (Trippi) and a full to graded winner Discreet Dancer, she produced a filly by Carpe Diem this year and was bred back to Liam’s Map.
JPMORGAN CHASE JESSAMINE S.-GII, $200,000, Keeneland, 10-9, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:43.13, gd.
1–SWEET MELANIA, 118, f, 2, by American Pharoah
1st Dam: Sweet N Discreet (SW & GSP, $366,447), by Discreet Cat
2nd Dam: West Side Dancer, by Gone West
3rd Dam: Bering Cruise, by Danzig
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($600,000
Ylg ’18 KEESEP). O-Lawana L. & Robert E. Low; B-St. Elias
Stables, LLC (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $120,000.
Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-2, $204,000. *Fourth black-type winner
for freshman sire (by American Pharoah). Werk Nick Rating:
A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Witez, 118, f, 2, More Than Ready–Glamour N Glory, by
Gulch. O/B-Mary Ann Charlston (KY); T-Ian R. Wilkes. $40,000.
3–Ask Bailey, 118, f, 2, Run Away and Hide–Puype’s Dream, by
Kris S. ($72,000 Wlg ’17 KEENOV; $100,000 Ylg ’18 KEESEP;
$80,000 2yo ’19 OBSAPR). O-WSS Racing LLC & Hooties Racing
LLC; B-Joseph L Alexander Jr. & Mark R Alexander (KY);
T-Michael J. Maker. $20,000.
Margins: 5HF, 3/4, 1 1/4. Odds: 3.00, 45.00, 21.60.
Also Ran: Jezebel’s Kitten, Eye of a Soldier, Morning Gold, Diamond Sparkles, Swanage, Indochine, High On Gin, Fujairah, Takeitback, Envied, Lemon Scat. Scratched: Soothsaying, Hollee Peach. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.