ARCADIA, Calif. (May 29, 2017)–Nick Alexander’s homebred S Y Sky, heavily favored at 2-5, repelled a tenacious Miss Sunset after a protracted stretch duel to take Monday’s $200,000 Melair Stakes by a half length. Trained by Phil D’Amato and ridden by Joe Talamo, S Y Sky got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:44.69.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Miss Sunset showed the way to the far turn, was collared by the winner turning for home, but proved a most-worthy adversary as she grudgingly gave way well inside the sixteenth pole.
When asked about the psychology of facing Smith in such circumstances, Talamo responded, “I just wish he’d retire, that sonuvagun! Mike’s filly really tried hard, but my filly is so nice. She’s getting better with every race and she kept to her task and fought that other filly off.”
Dispatched at 2-5 in a field of six California-bred or sired 3-year-old fillies, S Y Sky, a 3-year-old filly by Grazen, paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10. S Y Sky now has two wins, both stakes, from three starts. With the winner’s share of $110,000, she now has earnings of $234,560.
“Joe didn’t rush her, but Miss Sunset, she’s no slouch,” said D’Amato. “She won the Cal-bred stake up north (Campanile at Golden Gate Fields on April 30) and she fought. It was a great battle down the stretch.”
When asked if he was going to “retire the Melair Cup,” given the fact he’s won the last three runnings of the race named for the great multiple stakes winning Melair, D’Amato responded, “I need the Cal-bred wins, because Bob (Baffert) is too strong everywhere else.”
For his part, Alexander, who owns Grazen and S Y Sky’s dam, Sky Marni and is known to millions of Southlanders from his Nick Alexander Imports radio jingle that states “Nick can’t say no,” he was glad to see recent equine fortunes reversed.
“We’ve had three favorites in a row get their asses kicked, but I could tell our filly was running. She’s something special.”