11/29/2015 6:54PM

Melmich sets track record in dominant Valedictory win

Michael Burns
Melmich wins the Valedictory Stakes by 10 1/4 lengths in track-record time Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Melmich ran away and hid from the opposition Sunday in the closing-day feature at Woodbine, the Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes, winning the 1 3/4-mile marathon in track-record time under Eurico Da Silva.

Melmich raced in fourth most of the way before making a three-wide bid for the lead going into the far turn for the second time. He assumed command at the head of the stretch and drew away to prevail by 10 1/4 lengths over Patrioticandproud.

The retiring Pender Harbour came back bouncing after finishing a good third in the seven-horse field.

The final time of 2:55.81 was 1.81 seconds faster than the previous record set by Eagle Poise in the 2011 Valedictory.

“He’s amazing,” said Da Silva. “I worked this horse coming into the race, and he was feeling great. He was very, very sharp. He was ready to run. He was galloping all the way. I could have gone way faster. I didn’t want to push him too hard. His heart is bigger than him.”

Melmich, the even-money favorite, earned $90,000 of the $153,000 purse for owners Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman. 

Melmich was claimed for $20,000 in September 2014 by trainer Kevin Attard, who ends the meet second in the standings behind Mark Casse, who sent out Patrioticandproud.