11/13/2010 4:53PM

Mekong Melody extends Attfield's string of success with stakes shippers

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Mekong Melody, under Alex Solis, gives Woodbine-based trainer Roger Attfield his fourth graded stakes win of the season in New York in Saturday's Long Island Handicap.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Roger Attfield has plundered New York’s stakes for fillies and mares all year, so it was only fitting he should send Mekong Melody down from Woodbine to capture Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct – the division’s final graded stakes of the year in New York.

 Darting through on the inside beneath Alex Solis in midstretch, Mekong Melody ($9.40) drove clear in the late stages to win the 54th Long Island by 3 3/4  lengths as the second choice in a field of six.

 “I had a great trip,” said Solis. “I saved all the ground and in the stretch, I got lucky. I got a little opening there and when I asked her, she went through and finished very strong.”

 An Irish-bred 5-year-old homebred by Cape Cross, Mekong Melody ran 1 1/2  miles in 2:30.74 over a turf course labeled firm, and upped her record to 6 wins from 8 turf starts since imported to the United States last year by owner-breeder David Egan. She earned $90,000.

 Mekong Melody was the fourth graded turf stakes winner in New York for Attfield this year and fifth overall, along with Ave (Flower Bowl), Lady Shakespeare (New York), Perfect Shirl (Lake George), and Miss Keller (De La Rose).

 “We’re very happy with her performance today,” said assistant trainer Sarah Sullivan.

 Daveron circled widest coming off the third and final turn to finish second by a half-length over Tarrip.

 Tarrip established the pace through fractions of 25.25 seconds, 51.73, 1:17.18, and 1:42.57, and outfinished 3-5 favorite Changing Skies for third by a nose, which cost bridge-jumpers $316,792 in show bets on the odds-on choice.

 Mekong Melody paid nearly twice as much to show ($17.80) as to win; Daveron returned $5.20 to place and $15.20 to show; Tarrip paid $49.20 to show.