In an absolutely dazzling performance, the well bred filly Melody Lady galloped away from her rivals by over 6 lengths to win the $50,000 El Paso Times Handicap at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino on Saturday.
Out of the Grade 1 stakes winning mare Lady Tak, Melody Lady attracted much attention and was coming off a sharp maiden win at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Under jockey Casey Lambert, Melody Lady raised her game to another level and completely dominated a group of winning three-year-old fillies in the six and one-half furlong tilt. The Unbridled’s Song filly rated kindly off the pace setters and then shifted to gears to take the lead after the first quarter mile. The rest of the race was academic.
Lambert simply hand rode the winner to an impressive performance. The 8-5 favorite widened the margins on her rivals with each subsequent call. The budding stakes star clocked the distance in a fast 1:15.76, and she was never asked for her best from Lambert. Melody Lady is trained by the powerful Steve Asmussen who won last year’s $800,000 Sunland Derby (Gr. III) with Daddy Nose Best.
Melody Lady earned $30,000 for the Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. led by J.G. Sikura and Edward McGhee. Sunland Park fans hope that the star filly returns for the $50,000 Island Fashion Stakes on Sunday, Feb. 24 at one mile. The Island Fashion is the prelude to the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks which runs on Sunday, March 24. This year’s Sunland Park Oaks winner receives 50 points towards entry to the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.
Fraudulentfootnote tried her very best but was no match for the classy winner. The 29-1 long shot finished second under a solid ride from Duane Sterling. Flamboyance finished third followed by the second favorite Challenging.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at 12:25 p.m. Racing continues on Tuesday. A special live racing card will be held on Thursday, January 31. There will be racing on Friday and Saturday of next week. There will be no live racing on Sunday, Feb. 3 (Super Bowl Sunday).