Robert and Lawana Low’s Sweet Melania earned her initial stakes win with a powerful 5 1/2-length romp in the Jessamine S. (G2) at Keeneland on Wednesday. The Todd Pletcher-trained chestnut, who finished a close second in the P. G. Johnson S. at Saratoga in her previous outing, clocked 1 1/16 miles on the ‘good’ turf course in 1:43.13 under the guidance of Jose Ortiz.
Witez, who went postward at 45-1 odds, rallied well to secure the place spot. The Michael Maker-conditioned Ask Bailey came from well back to garner show honors at 21-1, and she was followed by 2-1 choice Jezebel’s Kitten.
Sweet Melania was winless on the dirt in her first pair of lifetime outings but morphed into a new animal with the surface change to the green. The $600,000 daughter of Triple Crown hero and top freshman sire American Pharoah graduated in her grassy bow at The Spa, prior to her excellent pair of recent stakes performances.
The Kentucky-bred was produced from 2014 Sunshine Millions Distaff queen Sweet N Discreet, and she hails from the same female line as European turf champions Ruler of the World and Duke of Marmalade.
My updated top six for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (North America only):
- Crystalle — Palace Malice filly confirmed her class with Miss Grillo (G2) second
- Sweet Melania — Versatile lass looked like a star in Keeneland tour-de-force
- Abscond — Natalma (G1) starlet has room for improvement for Kenneally
- Fair Maiden — Godolphin homebred will enjoy firmer going at Santa Anita
- Selflessly — Miss Grillo winner has a high ceiling for Chad Brown
- Sharing — Well-bred chestnut was dominant in the Selima S. for Motion