LEXINGTON, KY – Robert and Lawana Low’s Sweet Melania set measured fractions up front before drawing off strongly in the stretch to wire Wednesday’s $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
The Jessamine is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Sweet Melania receiving an automatic berth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 6 under Jose Ortiz as the 3/1 second choice, Sweet Melania was forwardly-placed as the field passed the wire for the first time. She sat just a neck off of the early leader Jezebel’s Kitten heading into the clubhouse turn through an opening 1/4-mile in :23.29. As they straightened out on the backstretch, Sweet Melania inched up to take command, eventually clearing her inside foe and crossing over before posting fractions of :48.01 for the 1/2-mile and 1:13.22 for 3/4.
Heading into the far turn, Sweet Melania continued to run comfortably along the rail, leading Jezebel’s Kitten and Fujairah by just over 1 length. Midway through the turn, Ortiz glanced behind him, then loosened his hold at the top of the stretch and allowed Sweet Melania to begin lengthening her stride.
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