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Enola Gray Goes Gate to Wire Taking $200,000 Melair Stakes at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. (May 28, 2106)—Nick Alexander’s homebred Enola Gray, a runaway first-out maiden winner sprinting here on April 10, made short work of her competition as she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in Saturday’s $200,000 Melair Stakes at Santa Anita, winning in dominating gate to wire fashion by 2 ¼ lengths under Tyler Baze.  Trained by Phil D’Amato, the 3-year-old filly by Grazen out of the More Than Ready mare Unsung Heroine, covered the distance in a solid 1:42.64.

“Today it was about seeing if she could go a mile and a sixteenth and it was about getting her out there, getting her to relax and take some breaths,” said Baze.  “She did.  She learns so fast and she only continues to get better.  She’s mature but she’s still got a lot to learn.  She’ll only get better.  She’s a petite filly and I’m really excited about seeing what she could become.”

With a staggering $346,016 bet to show on her ($388,932 was the total show pool), Enola Gray was the 1-9 favorite in a field of six sophomore fillies bred or sired in California and she paid $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10.

Now undefeated in two starts, Enola Gray picked up $110,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $143,600.

“I was extremely nervous this morning, but this shows me that she can overcome some adversity.  I’m quite relieved.  Phil and I were both (trying to decide) between running her at six or seven furlongs after her maiden win, but she was coughing a lot on the morning we were going to enter, so we waited and ran here.”

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Allsquare sat second the entire trip and outran Cheekaboo the final quarter mile to be second by 4 ¼ lengths.  Off at 29-1, Allsquare paid $7.60 and $5.00.

Cheekaboo, who loomed boldly three-wide at the top of the stretch, proved third-best under Rafael Bejarano.  Off at 7-1, she paid $2.60 to show.

Fractions, all set by the winner, were 23.97, 47.72, 1:11.88 and 1:36.26.

JOCKEY QUOTES

TYLER BAZE, ENOLA GRAY, WINNER: “I didn’t know what to expect from her really (in her last start) and Phil didn’t even say anything to me in the paddock and I had only been on her once. That day was just amazing. I looked back at the eighth pole and there wasn’t anybody near me.

“Today she was about seeing if she could goa mile and a sixteenth and it was about getting her out there, getting her to relax and take some breaths. She did, she learns so fast and she only continues to get better.

“She’s mature but she’s still got a lot to learn. She’ll only get better. She’s a petite filly and I’m really excited about seeing what she could become.”

TRAINER QUOTES

PHIL D’AMATO, ENOLA GRAY, WINNER:  “She did it in hand I thought, Tyler rode her very confidently and we did what we needed to do. It was her first time long so we tackled that hurdle and we’ll figure out where we go from here now.”

NICK ALEXANDER, OWNER/BREEDER, ENOLA GRAY, WINNER: “I was extremely nervous this morning, but this shows me that she can overcome some adversity.  I’m quite relieved.  Phil and I were both (trying to decide) between running her at six or seven furlongs after her maiden win, but she was coughing a lot on the morning we were going to enter, so we waited and ran here.”

Santa Anita Park

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