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Mekong Melody Impressive in Long Island

Mekong Melody took the shortest trip around the track and kicked clear after finding room in the upper stretch to register an impressive victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 Long Island Handicap on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.


Looking to rebound off a 10th-place finish in the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor at Woodbine on October 16, Mekong Melody was angled over to the inside by jockey Alex Solis and rated under firm hold in third through a half-mile of 51.73.


After falling back to fourth along the backstretch, Mekong Melody continued to wait behind horses on the final turn, found a seam at the top of the lane, and drew away under a drive to prevail by 3 ¾ widening lengths over runner-up Daveron.


“I had a great trip,” said winning jockey Alex Solis. “I saved all the ground and in the stretch, I got lucky. I got a little opening there and when I asked her, she went through and finished very strong.”


Mekong Melody, the 7-2 third choice, returned $9.40 for a $2 win wager to her backers in the crowd of 4,132 and completed the 1 ½-mile journey in 2:30.74.


Owned by David Egan, Mekong Melody has now won four black-type events in her career, including triumphs earlier this year at Woodbine in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly on June 18 and the Flaming Page on September 26. Her trainer, Toronto-based Roger Attfield, has won four other stakes on the NYRA circuit in 2010: the Grade 2 New York on June 19 with Lady Shakespeare, the Grade 2 Lake George on July 28 with Perfect Shirl, the De La Rose on August 4 with Miss Keller, and the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational on October 2 with Ave.


Bred in Ireland by her owner, Mekong Melody is 7-5-2 from 21 starts. Including the $90,000 winner’s share of the Long Island purse, the 5-year-old daughter of Cape Cross has earned $521,262 to date.


Tarrip edged Changing Skies, the 3-5 favorite, by a nose for third. Me Love and Sweet and Flawless completed the order of finish.





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