Sweet Melania Caps a Great Week for American Pharoah
Making her first appearance for 2020, talented filly Sweet Melania (3f American Pharoah x Sweet N Discreet, by Discreet Cat) returned in top form winning the Grade III Wonder Again Stakes on turf at Belmont in her first start since finishing third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November.
Taking the lead quickly in the one mile race, she led throughout and coasted home a comfortable length and a half winner as favorite.
"Analyzing the race beforehand, it looked as though she had a pace advantage,” trainer Todd Pletcher said.
“We weren't going to put her on the lead, we felt that she would naturally get herself there. Jose did a nice job of hashing it out and she responded well. We planned on giving her a little time off after the Breeders' Cup and things went kind of crazy for a while. We didn't know where she would come back. We knew a distance like a mile was what we were looking for, so when this race came out, we pointed towards this.”
Trained by Pletcher for Robert and Lawana Low, the filly was bred by St. Elias Stables and sold for $600,000 as a yearling from the Gainesway consignment to West Bloodstock for her racing owners.
Pletcher isn’t sure where Sweet Melania will next start but says the plan is to stretch her out in distance.
"To be honest, I haven't studied [the Saratoga stakes schedule] in full,” Pletcher said. “I just wanted to get through this race first. I'm sure there will be some options for her and we'll try to stretch her out a little more. I'm not sure that she wants a mile and a quarter, but I think she's classy enough to where she can get a mile and an eighth."
Sweet Melania is the best of two winners from stakes-winner Sweet N Discreet, a sibling to Grade II winners Discreet Dancer and Travelin Man.
The filly’s extended family also boasts Group I Epsom Derby winner Ruler of the World and five-time Group I winner Duke of Marmalade.
The best filly to date from American Pharoah’s first crop, Sweet Melania has the consistent record of three wins and four placings from seven starts.
She headlined a great week for American Pharoah that saw his Group I-placed son Monarch Of Egypt finish a close second in the Group III Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier in the week and Turned Aside finish second in Saturday’s Sir Cat Stakes at Belmont Park.
American Pharoah’s first crop now includes 18 stakes horses and seven stakes winners.
His first Southern Hemisphere bred two year-olds will hit Australian racetracks later this year and he returns this spring at a fee of $55,000.