|Arlington Park Stakes Results
Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535
MR. MELLON WINS ARLINGTON CLASSIC
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 29, 2002) -- WinStar Farm LLC & Thomas Van Meter II's Mr. Mellon, an $8,000 supplemental entry, angled out in the stretch and rallied to get up in the final strides to post a neck victory in the Grade II $175,000 Arlington Classic Saturday at Arlington Park. Rene Douglas rode the Elliott Walden-trained son of Red Ransom who covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:41.95.
Mr. Mellon, who was a little fractious entering the starting gate and had to be loaded sans rider, settled in toward the back of the field while racing along the rail. He moved up on the final turn and angled out to overtake Doc Holiday inside the last sixteenth of a mile. He earned $105,000 for the victory, his third in seven starts, to boost his bankroll to $248,580.
The Arlington Classic is the first leg of the Mid-America Triple, a series that continues with the $225,000 American Derby on July 21, and concludes with the Grade I Secretariat on August 17. Walden said Mr. Mellon would not return for the middle leg of the series but would likely be back for the Secretariat.
"We'll point next for the ($500,000 Grade II) Jim Dandy (on the dirt at Saratoga August 4)," Walden said. "I don't like to run in the middle race because you have to give away a whole lot of weight."
The Arlington Classic was only his second start on turf. He ran second in the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs on June 8 in his grass debut. Earlier this year, while still on the Triple Crown trail, he won the Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park.
"He definitely has a turf pedigree," the trainer noted, "I'd like to keep both avenues (dirt and turf) open for him. He only started once as a 2-year-old. We got a little behind on him as far as the Triple Crown and tried to play catch-up with him. It didn't work out so we re-grouped."
Doc Holiday, who stalked pacesetter Cappuchino through fractions of 23.52 seconds, 47.73 seconds and 1:11.71, had the lead in the stretch but was unable to hold off the winner. Seainsky, a 56-1 longshot, rallied from last at the top of the stretch to finish third in the nine-horse race. Jeremiah Jack, the 17-10 favorite, finished fourth followed by Robin Zee, Cappuchino, Stonemason, February Storm and Scooter Roach.
"I just wanted to be in a good spot to make a run at the end," said David Flores, Doc Holiday's jockey. "I didn't want to go too soon, but the race worked out that way. I never saw (Mr. Mellon) coming until the last sixteenth of a mile. I hoped I would get there in time but the other horse came and beat us. That horse caught us late but my horse never quit. He ran a good race."
Mr. Mellon, the second choice in the wagering, paid $6.80, $3.40 and $3.00. Doc Holiday returned $4.00 and $3.20. Seainsky paid $8.20.
- END -