TORONTO, September 30 — Melmich scored a blowout victory in the $125,000 Durham Cup (Grade 3) to maintain his perfect seasonal record on Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.
The Kevin Attard trainee circled the field of five and drew off down the stretch to win the 1-1/8 mile graded stakes in a 7-1/2-length romp on the Woodbine main track with Eurico Rosa Da Silva along for the ride.
“He’s such a nice horse, I’m just very lucky and I’m very grateful to be a part of this team,” said Da Silva. “He’s a very, very nice horse, very easy horse to ride and he just gives you everything he has every time.”
The 3-5 favourite raced inside fifth early on while U S Marshal (Emma-Jayne Wilson) engaged early leader Leavem in Malibu (Gary Boulanger) with Narrow Escape (Rafael Hernandez) and Keen Gizmo (Patrick Husbands) joining the fray three and four-wide down the backside on the way to three-quarters in 1:12.99. Leavem in Malibu gave way then Melmich stormed by the top three that had continued to duel around the final turn en route to victory in 1:49.86.
“He was running very, very relaxed inside,” said Da Silva. “I was just seeing who was going to make the move and then I saw Patrick make a move outside and the pace picked up and I was just very lucky to sit behind him. At the half-mile pole, I was just galloping.”
“He was coming up to this race in great shape,” said Attard. “I was really excited to see him run today because I kind of figured he had this performance in him.”
The chestnut Wilko-Little Swoon gelding, who was bred in Ontario by Andrew Stronach, is now five-for-five in his six-year-old campaign and boasts wins in half of his 32 career starts with earnings over $861,000 for owners Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman. He will be looking to add more than just wins to his resume as his season continues at the Woodbine meet.
“To be honest, it’s like Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, ‘there’s no place like home,’” said Attard. “He seems to prosper here and things are going good for him. I think he has a serious chance at maybe Horse of the Year honours at this pace. That’s obviously a big target and I would like to see him get rewarded.”
Melmich returned $3.40 and $2.10. There was no show wagering. He combined with runner-up U S Marshal ($6.80) for a 4-1 exacta worth $23.20. A $1 trifecta of 4-1-5 with Narrow Escape paid $66.10. Keen Gizmo finished fourth and Leavem in Malibu ended up fifth.