Sweet Melania (American Pharoah) winning the Gr.2 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland

Sweet Melania Newest Stakes Winner For American Pharoah

Stakes placed in her last start, Sweet Melania (2f American Pharoah x Sweet N Discreet, by Discreet Cat) became American Pharoah’s fourth stakes winner on Wednesday with a run-away victory in the Grade II JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland.

The Todd Pletcher trainee battled for the lead soon after the break before taking control down the backstretch. It was easy going for Sweet Melania from there as she started drawing away in the far turn with her ears pricked. Victory was all but assured as the field entered the stretch with the 2-year-old filly pulling away to win by an impressive 5 ½ lengths in the 1 1/16 mile contest.

“The way she broke today I knew she was going to be there,” said winning rider Jose Ortiz. “In the first turn, I had Florent [Geroux on Jezebel’s Kitten] trail me, and [Sweet Melania] was a little keen. As soon as I completely got the lead, she relaxed well and I cruised to the quarter pole. When I asked her to go, she switched leads and gave me a great turn of foot.”

Bred by St. Elias Stables LLC, the filly was a $600,000 purchase from the Gainesway consignment by West Bloodstock for Robert and Lawana Low at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale last year.

Winning her maiden two starts ago before finishing second by a neck in the Listed P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga, the filly has earned an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and will start in that Grade I race next month.

“Win any kind of stakes race, a ‘Win and You’re In’ race [at Keeneland] is fantastic, so we’re looking forward to going to California,” co-owner Robert Low said. “[Bloodstock agent] Jacob West found her for us and Todd [Pletcher] approved her, so we bought her. We love this filly and are really excited to see her. I just love this filly. The way she moves; she has that American Pharoah walk. She was great.”

Sweet Melania is the second winner from two foals out of the stakes winning Discreet Cat mare Sweet N Discreet, who is a full sister to Grade 2 winner and Grade 1 placed Discreet Dancer and half-sister to Grade 2 winner Travelin Man.

Sweet Melania is one of nine stakes horses for leading young sire American Pharoah.