Maple Leaf Mel (Cross Traffic) may have been gone since August last year, but she showed no signs of rust Friday as she floated home the easiest of winners in the East View S. at Aqueduct.
A five-length winner at first-asking Aug. 10 at Saratoga in a six panel, state-bred maiden dash over the fast main track, she returned 16 days later in the slop to duel her way to an open length victory in the state-bred restricted Seeking the Ante S. over familiar face Lady Mine (First Samurai), GSP Miracle (Mendelssohn), and another returning challenger in MSW Les Bon Temps.
Jumping well here as the heavy 1-5 favorite, Maple Leaf Mel showed the way down the backstretch, dictating all her own terms. In the two path around the bend and putting distance on the field without being asked, Maple Leaf Mel changed leads inside the three-sixteenths before drawing off by 7 3/4 lengths in the stretch to stylish return to winning ways.
“Joel [Rosario] has worked her the last couple of times down in Florida and I was happy that he wanted to come up and ride her–that gave me a lot of confidence. […] I left it [tactics] up to Joel. I don’t think it matters with her,” said conditioner Jeremiah Engleheart. “I’ve worked her plenty of times as a 2-year-old behind horses and let her tip out and make a run. She’s just a racehorse. If you put her there, she’s going to try and repel everyone that comes to her. She likes to run. It’s as simple as that. She likes to do what she’s doing.”
As for trying open company down the road, Engleheart was hopeful the chance would arise. “Coach [Bill Parcells, owner of August Dawn Farm] wants to win a Grade I and my goal is to win a Grade I with her for him. We’ve talked about a couple different spots. The [state-bred] Bouwerie is an option, but it’s a little further away than we wanted coming off this race.”
Out of a winning racemare, Maple Leaf Mel is a half to another multiple winner in Dr. Lloyd (The Lumber Guy), in addition to her stakes placed half’brother Eddie’s Gift. They have a 2-year-old half-brother by Brody’s Cause as the last registered foal under the dam thus far. This is the female line of GSP Heaven’s Nook (Great Above), herself dam of GSW Frisco View (Mt. Livermore); SW Cherokee Heaven (Cherokee Run); and the dam of Venezuelan champion 2-year-old colt Rio Matiyure (Ven) (Chayim). Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.
EAST VIEW S., $100,000, Aqueduct, 3-24, (S), 3yo, f, 6f, 1:12.75, ft.
1–MAPLE LEAF MEL, 122, f, 3, by Cross Traffic
1st Dam: City Gift, by City Place
2nd Dam: For My Wife, by Not For Love
3rd Dam: Heavens to Betsy, by Miswaki
($18,000 Ylg ’21 KEESEP; $150,000 2yo ’22 EASMAY). O-August Dawn Farm; B-Joe Fafone (NY); T-Jeremiah C. Englehart; J-Joel Rosario. $55,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0, $213,400. *1/2 to Eddie’s Gift (El Corredor), SP, $167,950.
2–Security Code, 118, f, 3, Frosted–Stopspendingmaria, by Montbrook. O-WellSpring Stables; B-Rockridge Stud, LLC, Ascendant Farms, LLC & Godolphin (NY); T-Philip M. Serpe. $20,000.
3–Les Bon Temps, 122, f, 3, Laoban–Winsanity, by Tapizar. ($65,000 Ylg ’21 FTKOCT). O-Lady Sheila Stable, Deuce Greathouse, Cindy M. Hutson and Brett Setzer; B-Southern Equine Stables, LLC (NY); T-Linda Rice. $12,000.
Margins: 7 3/4, 2, 1 1/4. Odds: 0.30, 26.50, 3.10.
Also Ran: Little Linzee, Banterra, Queens Masterpiece, Lady Mine.
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