01/03/2016 11:16AM

Serene Melody ends career with stakes win in Wintergreen

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Serene Melody wins the Wintergreen Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths Saturday at Turfway Park.

A happy chord of nostalgia was struck Saturday night when Serene Melody ended her racing career with a perfect-trip victory in the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky.

Serene Melody was produced by the Hall of Fame mare Serena’s Song, who in 1995 became the only filly to win the Turfway showcase event, the Spiral Stakes (then the Jim Beam). Fittingly, Serene Melody races under the same green-and-yellow silks her dam carried for Beverly Lewis and her late husband, Bob.

“It was a great feeling, seeing her win like that,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said early Sunday. “I had my first winner for the Lewises [in 1993], and I was with them the day Serena’s Song won at Turfway. They are truly special people.”

LoPresti said Serene Melody will be retired to Denali Stud and will be bred soon to Candy Ride.

Ridden by Sophie Doyle, Serene Melody never had a straw in her path as she stalked a pair of frontrunners from an ideal spot in the 34th Wintergreen, a one-mile Polytrack race. Approaching the quarter-pole, the homebred 6-year-old daughter of Street Cry cruised to the lead and never was threatened thereafter, prevailing by 2 1/2 lengths over a late-running City of Trix. Emotional Kitten, the 7-5 favorite in a field of 12 fillies and mares, was another 2 3/4 lengths back in third.

The winner paid $7.40 as second choice after finishing in 1:38.12.

“[Serene Melody] broke real fast, and actually, she put herself into the race, so I just sat and enjoyed the ride,” Doyle told Turfway publicity afterward. “Down the backside, she was pretty keen, so about the three-eighths pole, I said, ‘Right, let’s just start smoothing along.’ The longer you sit on her, the better she’ll go, and I waited until she switched leads up the stretch. Then I asked her to go on, and she did it impressively.”

The first stakes victory for Serene Melody was her fourth from 16 overall starts and increased her earnings to $159,480. She was coming off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Chilukki Stakes over the Churchill Downs dirt in early November.

The $2 exacta (11-3) paid $148.80, the $1 trifecta (11-3-8) returned $396.20, and the 10-cent superfecta (11-3-8-10) was worth $107.51.

Serena’s Song, now retired at Denali, has had 12 foals to race. Five foals have won stakes, including Serena’s Tune, Grand Reward, Harlington, and Schramsberg. Her last foal now is 2.

Bob Lewis died in 2006. Beverly Lewis lives in California.

Lance More than 1 year ago
Six stakes winners - you missed Sophisticat - a Group 1 winner in Europe.