Updated on 09/16/2011 7:21AM

Bay Meadows: Mellow Fellow wins Sprint


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Mellow Fellow ($7.20) unleashed a powerful stretch drive to win the Grade 3, $198,750 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Sprint on Saturday.

"They were cheering him like Barry Bonds when we got to the winner's circle," winning trainer William J. Morey Jr. said.

Mellow Fellow, a 7-year-old gelding who was named the Horse of the Meeting at Golden Gate Fields, recorded his sixth straight win and first victory in a graded stakes. Rallying from off the pace in the six-furlong race, he went by Explicit late, winning by 1.25 lengths in 1:08.35. Swept Overboard was third another three-quarters of a length back.

Morey, who owns one-third of Mellow Fellow with Ronelle Heller, said after the race he would advise Heller not to enter Mellow Fellow in Tuesday's dispersal sale of horses from the Bart Heller Estate at the Barretts Sale in Pomona.

"I would love to see her stick with the horse," Morey said. "He's Breeders' Cup eligible. That (running a horse in the Breeders' Cup) was Bart's dream. This is for Bart Heller, too. He jokingly pressured me into claiming him (for $20,000 from his winning debut on Oct. 18, 1998)."

Morey said putting Mellow Fellow through an auction would "cheapen him." He added, "I would rather see him sold privately."

Morey said he had "no interest in selling my third" and indicated he would consider buying the gelding who has won 11 of 24 starts and increased his bankroll to $417,263 with the $110,000 he earned Saturday.

The race unfolded perfectly for Mellow Fellow.

Explicit and Sempai went head-to-head early through a relatively slow 22.51 opening quarter. Explicit opened up on Sempai and had a two-length lead after the half after running a faster second quarter (22.19) than opening quarter.

Russell Baze, aboard Mellow Fellow was outside even-money favorite Swept Overboard early and kept him pinned inside. He began to move heading to the quarter pole, while Swept Overboard was stuck behind horses and had to move out to get room.

"This horse went super," Baze said. "I knew every step of the way he could win. That horse on the lead (Explicit) wasn't giving it to us, but my horse was really finishing."

Lonnie Meche rode Explicit, who came into the race off stakes wins at the Fair Grounds and Oaklawn Park.

"I don't understand it," said Meche, who wondered if Explicit had bled. "Usually he goes 21-and-change and kicks on. Today, for the first time, he gets to go 22, and he folds up on me in the last eighth. I thought I was a cinch coming into the lane."

Eddie Delahoussaye said he had to steady on the turn but didn't blame that for Swept Overboard's defeat.

"He just didn't kick on," Delahoussaye said. "If he had been beaten a length, then I would say the trouble cost him, but the wasn't the case. He just didn't kick today. Right now, he's no the same horse he was last year."