Updated on 09/16/2011 7:41AM

Mr. Mellon puts it all together


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It took six races, but Mr. Mellon put everything together Saturday in the , beating Doc Holiday by a neck in a rousing stretch duel.

The Grade 2 win validated the high expectations Mr. Mellon was tagged with long before he raced. Mr. Mellon sold for $950,000 as a yearling, a tremendous price for a colt by Red Ransom. His dam, Mackie, sold for $5 million in 2000 while in foal to Mr. Prospector, and his second dam, Glowing Tribute, is one of the finest broodmares in recent history.

It was clear to trainer Elliott Walden that Mr. Mellon had talent, but the colt made only one start as a 2-year-old, and in Walden's words, was pushed to try and get to the Triple Crown. That effort ended after Mr. Mellon finished sixth in the Arkansas Derby, but Walden had a fall-back position.

"He has turf all over his pedigree," Walden said.

Mr. Mellon tried grass June 8 at Churchill Downs in the Grade 3 Jefferson Cup and finished second. His race Saturday was much more polished. Given a perfect ride by Rene Douglas, who's nothing short of brilliant on this grass course, Mr. Mellon rated kindly, moved through an opening on the inside coming into the stretch and gradually edged past the California invader, Doc Holiday, who battled tenaciously when challenged.

Doc Holiday, who pressed a moderate pace set by Cappuchino, took the lead turning for home and finished with good energy for jockey David Flores. He was simply outrun by a slightly better colt, but finished almost two lengths ahead of the longshot Seainsky, who edged the favorite, Jeremiah Jack, for third. Mr. Mellon paid $6.80 to win and was timed in 1:41.95 over firm turf.

"He's a maturing colt," Walden said. "In the Arkansas Derby he was keen, he didn't relax well. He's learned to settle, and that's the difference."

Mr. Mellon has shown he can handle turf, but Walden said the colt could return to dirt racing in the Aug. 4 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.