TORONTO, June 19, 2019 – Millionaire, 17-time winner and fan favourite Melmich looks to add another chapter to his accomplished career, when he goes postward in Saturday’s Grade 3 $125,000 Singspiel Stakes, at Woodbine.
Claimed for $20,000 on September 26, 2014, the gelded son of Wilko is a graded stakes star for owners Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman, and trainer Kevin Attard.
His list of victories includes a pair of Grade 3 Dominion Day triumphs, a Seagram Cup crown in 2017 and a Valedictory score in 2015.
Finishing in the top three (17-16-5) 38 times in 45 career starts, Melmich heads into the 1 ½-mile turf Singspiel off two impressive runner-up finishes at Gulfstream Park. He also finished third Chyrsaor Stakes, also at the Hallandale oval, on January 25.
In the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida on March 2, the Ontario-bred rallied impressively in the 1 3/8-mile grass event to finish second, three-quarters-of-a-length behind winner Zulu Alpha.
On March 30, Melmich, second in voting for the 2017 Sovereign Award as Canada’s champion older male (Pink Lloyd won the honour), was once again full of late run, losing by a nose to Focus Group in the 1 ½-mile Grade 2 Pan American Stakes.
“I thought he ran three really great races at Gulfstream,” praised Attard. “His last one (Pan American) was a heartbreaker. To lose by as little as he did… unfortunately, he’s had this bad habit of lugging in during his races and that definitely cost him. Had he run straight, he would have been an easy winner.”
Attard is hopeful that his consistent charge, whose posted nine seconds over his past 13 starts, can go one better on Saturday.
“We can’t complain. He showed up each and every time we ran him in Florida, on a surface we weren’t really too sure of to begin with. So, it kind of opened up the doors for a lot of other things.”
Attard is looking for the eight-year-old to take a shine to the E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
“He loves the distance and hopefully he’ll like the turf here at Woodbine. He should like that long stretch. My biggest concern is that we gave him a little bit of a break after his last race at Gulfstream, sent him to the farm for a bit. Hopefully, we have him tight enough to go a mile-and-a-half off a little layoff.
“Those seconds can weigh on you. It makes the heart tick a little harder and faster. But he’s such a special horse. To do what he’s done, to be as consistent as he is over a consistent period of time, against the best competition of his kind in the category – it’s hard to find a horse that has that type of longevity and success.”
The trainer with 420 career victories will also send out Sir Sahib in Saturday’s feature race.
A dark bay son of Fort Larned, the Stronach Farms’ homebred has eight top-three finishes from 11 starts, including a smart win last time out. The four-year-old took a 1 1/16-mile main track allowance race by 1 ¾-lengths on May 18.
“He’s been a nice addition to the barn,” said Attard. “He was training very well this winter at Gulfstream and we were excited to see him run here at Woodbine. In his first local start, he didn’t disappoint and we’re anxious to see him run at this distance over the turf.”
Hall of Fame conditioner Roger Attfield, represented by Tiz a Slam, has won seven runnings of the Singspiel.
Last year, Shahroze, owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Head of Plains Partners LLC, and trained by Graham Motion, won the Singspiel.
The race is named after the Irish-bred son of In the Wings, whose nine victories in 20 lifetime starts include the 1996 Canadian International Stakes.
The Singspiel is Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card. First post time is 1:05 p.m.
Fans can also watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
FIELD FOR THE GRADE 3 $125,000 SINGSPIEL
POST – HORSE – JOCKEY – TRAINER
1 – Tiz a Slam – Steve Bahen – Roger Attfield
2 – Avie’s Mesa – Davy Moran – Josie Carroll
3 – Sir Sahib – Eurico Rosa Da Silva – Kevin Attard
4 – Itstartswithadrink – Leo Salles – Clint Abraham
5 – Melmich – Rafael Hernandez – Kevin Attard