04/19/2010 12:00AM

Melancon gets Deputiformer home by nose


OPELOUSAS, LA. - Under clever handling by Gerard Melancon, Deputiformer slipped through along the hedge when straightened for home and prevailed by a gritty nose to capture Saturday night's $50,000 John Henry Stakes at Evangeline Downs. The longshot And Music Came lodged a furious rally down the lane to narrowly miss, followed by favored Snakebite Kit, who suffered his first career defeat in five starts.

Melancon was content to settle Deputiformer well back off the pace set by Deputiformer's entrymate Ashe's Cat of 22.82 and 46.50 over a decidedly firm turf. Melancon began to pick off rivals while saving ground through the second turn before diving through a narrow opening along the rail a furlong out. The winning time was 1:40.33 for the 1 1/16 miles.

Deputiformer ($11.80) is trained by Keith Bourgeois, who claimed the son of Silver Deputy for Hardy Farms for $17,500 in mid-March at Fair Grounds. The win was the 5-year-old gelding's fifth from 30 starts and Saturday's $30,000 payday boosted his earnings to almost $470,000.