Melmich expertly handled by Eurico Rosa da Silva in Dominion Day
July 01, 2016 01:35pm
Melmich wins 2016 Dominion Day
Photo: Michael Burns/Woodbine

Melmich, expertly piloted by Eurico Rosa da Silva, rallied last to first to capture the featured $156,000, Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes on Canada Day at Woodbine.

Last of five for most of the mile and one-quarter contest, while War Dancer, under pressure from defending Dominion Day champ Red Rifle, led the field through fractions of :25.30, :49.52 and 1:13.64, Melmich moved to challenge the leaders turning for home and surged past for a commanding 1 1/2-length win.  The final time was 2:04.06. Breaking Lucky, the 2015 Prince of Wales champ, rallied for place over Scuba. 

Da Silva believes the slow time may have been hampered by conditions.

"The wind is blowing very hard so it's very difficult to say if this is the real time. For me, they were going good," said da Silva. "My horse was relaxed and he was there for me any time I needed him. The longer he goes, the better he is."

Trained by Kevin Attard, the five-year-old Wilko chestnut arrived at the 1 ¼-mile Tapeta route from an even third-place run in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes while making his seasonal debut.  The talented gelding won six of eight starts in 2015 including added-money victories in the restricted Elgin Stakes and Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes, a 1 ¾-mile marathon.

"He was coming off a six-month layoff and the track he ran on that day was very tiring,” said Attard of the Eclipse effort. “He's had some good works in the interim and we've been pointing for this race since the beginning of the season.” 

The victory was a special one for Stephen Chesney who co-owns Melmich with Cory Hoffman. The duo acquired Melmich through the claim box for $20,000 on September 26, 2014 and the gelding has since won nine times.

"I remember the first Dominion Day Handicap I came to, I was about 16 and Frost King won it. I loved that horse," recalled Chesney. "I would never have dreamed to have a horse in the race, nevermind winning it. Anybody thinking about racing should get involved."

Melmich, bred in Ontario by Andy Stronach, banked $90,000 in victory while improving his record to 10-5-2 from 22 starts.
He paid $6, $3.40 and $2.40, combining with Breaking Lucky ($4.40, $3.50) for a $19.10 (5-4) exactor. A 5-4-2 triactor (Scuba, $3.40 to show) was worth $49.70.  

Internal Bourbon prevails in Zadracarta

Trainer Roger Attfield will be looking to saddle a record ninth Queen’s Plate winner when Shakhimat goes to the post on Sunday, and the Hall of Fame conditioner got his long weekend off to a good start when Internal Bourbon upset Friday’s $100,000 Zadracarta Stakes, at Woodbine.

Internal Bourbon rated off the pace of 3-5 favorite Southern Ring in the Zadracarta, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

But, Southern Ring began to weaken off fractions of :22.96, :46.17, and 1:10.32 and was passed by Internal Bourbon and Charming Delilah almost in unison with a furlong to run. Internal Bourbon won the battle to prevail in 1:22.96 but Charming Delilah battled on very gamely to miss by just a neck.

Under rider Alan Garcia, Internal Bourbon lay farther off the pace than usual. 

“That was the plan, if there was a legitimate pace,” said Attfield. “The main thing with her is she doesn’t need to go to the lead too soon. She’s lost a number of races going to the lead too soon, and we finally got it all worked out that she doesn’t do that. (Garcia) rode her really well.”

Conquest Strate Up closed on the outside to finish third while Southern Ring faltered to fourth. Rounding out the order of finish were Copper Kitten, Pengally Bay and Clarkston Hope. Green Doctor was scratched.

Internal Bourbon, a homebred 4-year-old filly who races for Chuck Fipke, was recording her first stakes win in the Zadracarta and her second straight win after capturing an open first-level allowance at 6.5 furlongs on the turf.

The 4-year-old returned $17.80, $8.20 and $4.30 and combined with Charming Delilah ($4.60, $3.40) for a $76.60 exactor. Conquest Strate Up ($5.20) completed a $300.70 triactor, while Southern Exchange rounded out a $1 superfecta worth $268.75.

Source: Woodbine Communications Office


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