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Melady's Monet, Tequila Sunrise win in Great Northeast

May 04, 2019

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Melady’s Monet and Tequila Monday proved most photogenic at Harrah’s Philadelphia on a special Derby Day Saturday afternoon card of racing, helping to inaugurate the 2019 Great Northeast Open Series by capturing their $30,000 sections of the Open Trot and Mares Open pace, respectively.

The 10-year-old Revenue S gelding Melady’s Monet, driven by his regular pilot Jordan Stratton, got away fifth as Tyson was away very quickly at the start, with All Champy, Pappy Go Go, and Mission Accepted filling in behind him. Nearing the :27.3 quarter Pappy Go Go was put into play, moving to the lead before the :56 half, with the favored Mission Accepted getting ready to move at that point, trailed by the winner.

Coming off the second turn All Champy went to a run and was moved outside, and the outer tier had to pause a beat before coming up in force, with Mission Accepted, who was 3-for-3 since being acquired by the Burke Brigade in the off-season, battling outside Pappy Go Go to the 1:24.1 three-quarters, around the turn, and into the stretch. In midstretch Mission Accepted seemed to be getting the upper hand, but that’s when Melady’s Monet exploded, eating up ground quickly to be up by a neck in 1:52.4. Pappy Go Go was third, ¾ of a length behind second and a length ahead of Crystal Fashion, who in his seasonal bow saved ground then came on for fourth.

Melady’s Monet already has amassed $120,810 this season (his eighth straight year of six-figure earnings), bringing his lifetime bankroll to $1,453,248. Herman Heitmann is the trainer of the winner (and isn’t it ironic that a trainee of the man who developed Foiled Again photoed out a Burke-trained horse here?) for Melady Enterprises LLC.

Kissin In The Sand, favored in making her first start of the year and her first start against the seasoned mares, got away midpack in the field of seven as Apple Bottom Jeans, Tequila Monday, and Delishka N (who combined in their last seven races showed 15 “1” calls at the quarter in those 21 starts) got away 1-2-3 as the field reached the quarter in :26.1. Apple Bottom Jeans did get a bit of a breather to a :55.2 half, just when Kissin In The Sand had to come first-over for driver Scott Zeron.

Last year’s sophomore champion put in a steady grind at the pacesetter, reaching the three-quarters in 1:23 while continuing to gain, and the gallant distaff gained a short lead in early stretch. But lurking just behind the duel was Tequila Monday, undefeated in four starts this year, and when driver Trace Tetrick asked her to respond up in the inside, she kicked in quickly approaching the wire, proving a half length better than Kissin In The Sand today, with Apple Bottom Jeans another 1¼ lengths back in third.

The American Ideal mare Tequila Monday, one of the top distaffs in the game when on her game, certainly is in peak form with her five straight victories to begin 2019. The winner of $818,462 is trained by Hunter Oakes for Northfolk Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey.

George Napolitano Jr. had four winners on the Philly afternoon card – as did his brother Anthony during a matinee card at Pocono on Saturday. (PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia)

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