07/22/2010 3:29PM

Famous Name an easy winner in Meld Stakes at Leopardstown


Famous Name confirmed his odds-on favoritism with flying colors at Leopardstown on Thursday evening as he drew off to a comfortable 2 1/2-length victory in the Group 3, $76,500 Meld Stakes. Making his first start since May 9 at short-priced odds of 4-6, the 5-year-old son of Dansili tracked the dawdling pace of Lord High Admiral and led under Pat Smullen approaching the three-sixteenths pole, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:54.62 on good ground while spotting his five rivals five to 14 pounds.

Lord High Admiral weakened to finish last of six, as his Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemate Steinbeck took second, five lengths ahead of Bea Remembered. Famous Name is now 3 for 3 this year, having previously won the listed Heritage Stakes and the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes, both going a mile at Leopardstown.

A model of consistency, Famous Name has been out of the first three just once while winning 9 of 18 career starts. He has won five Group 3 races but has shown that he can compete at the Group 1 level, having finished second in the 1 5/16-mile Prix du Jockey-Club, or French Derby, in 2008, and second in the one-mile Prix du Moulin de Longchamp last September.

Bred and owned by Khalid Abdullah’s powerful Juddmonte Farms, the Irish-bred Famous Name has had the Aug. 21 Arlington Million on his agenda most of the year, but his trainer, Dermot Weld, said that he was also under consideration for the one-mile Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Aug. 15, when he would run into Goldikova and Paco Boy. “He needs an ease in the ground,” Weld said, although running in a 1 1/8-mile race like the Meld seems like an odd prep for the Jacques le Marois.