02/25/2017 6:49PM

Arnold pulls off rare feat with Morticia in Melody of Colors

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Morticia, trained and co-bred by Rusty Arnold, wins the Melody of Colors by three-quarters of a length under Jose Lezcano.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Rusty Arnold not only trains the filly who won the Melody of Colors Stakes, but he co-bred her, too.

“You don’t see that too often, huh,” Arnold said with a grin after Morticia led all the way Saturday to win the second running of the $75,000 Melody of Colors over the Gulfstream Park turf.

Ridden by Jose Lezcano, Morticia broke like a shot to make all the pace in the five-furlong race, holding off her race-long pursuer, Attyia, to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Fields of Song rallied late to be third in a field of eight 3-year-old fillies.

“She’s quick,” said Arnold, who said he has bred “maybe 10 horses” during his more than 40 years in racing.

Morticia, owned and co-bred by Arnold’s longtime client, G. Watts Humphrey Jr., returned $6.80 as the favorite after finishing in 55.06 seconds over a firm course. The time was more than three-fifths of a second faster than what Derek’s Smile took earlier on the card in winning the male counterpart, the Texas Glitter.

Morticia was making her first start outside the maiden ranks. The bay filly is by Twirling Candy out of the Humphrey mare, Halloween Party, whom Arnold also trained.

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“Her mother was a miler,” said Arnold. “I’ll probably end up stretching this filly out, but this particular race fell perfectly into place for us, so here we are.”

The stakes win was the first at Gulfstream for Arnold since Centre Court won the Grade 2 Honey Fox nearly three years ago.

The $2 exacta (6-7) paid $23.60, the $1 trifecta (6-7-2) returned $163.90, and the 10-cent superfecta (6-7-2-5) was worth $58.94.