St. Elias Stable’s Nonna Mela ran away with Friday’s G2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, streaking under the wire six lengths in front of the field of juvenile fillies. Originally scheduled for last Saturday, the Adirondack had to be cancelled due to a bad storm, and the race was rescheduled and redrawn for this Friday. Nonna Mela, the 2-year-old daughter of Arch out of a Storm Cat mare, covered 6 1/2 furlongs over the fast main track in 1:16.83 under Javier Castellano for trainer Todd Pletcher.
The post-time favorite, Libby’s Tail broke awkwardly to the outside at the start, allowing Nonna Mela to come away with the early lead. When second-choice Silvertoni ranged up along her outside, Nonna Mela rated kindly under Castellano, backing off to give Silvertoni a 1 1/2 length lead. Silvertoni led through fractions of :21.81 and :45.13 before Castellano angled Nonna Mela to her outside, catching her mid-way through the far turn. Libby’s Tail was on the move while three-wide just behind that pair.
At the head of the lane, Nonna Mela held a slight advantage over Silvertoni, and Libby’s Tail was just another half-length back in third. When Castellano asked for just a bit more from Nonna Mela, the filly responded with a strong burst of speed, sprinting away from the field to cross under the wire six lengths in front. Silvertoni ran on well down the lane to be second, while Olive Branch overcame Libby’s Tail for the show.
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Nonna Mela was a $ 310,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase. She broke her maiden in her second start at Monmouth Park, and the Adirondack is her first graded stakes win. With a record of two wins from three starts, she boasts earnings of just under $ 150,000.
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