Analyze sweeps to Winter Melody victory
by Frank Vespe
As expected, the pace heated up in Thursday’s $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware Park, and the closers came running.
And it was Analyze — a horse who’d done most of her best running while up close early — who benefited most of all.
A five-horse scrum of horses barreled into the first turn of the 1 1/16 mile test for fillies and mares three and up, while Analyze, astutely placed by Alex Cintron, settled back in sixth while saving ground.
When the dust settled, Saida had the early lead while hounded by an impatient Moonlight Basin, the tepid 5-2 favorite. The opening quarter went in 23.09 seconds, the half in 46.70, and three-quarters in 1:11.07 with the lead duo slugging it out.
But Cintron and Analyze slipped through along the inside, moving from sixth after a quarter-mile to fifth after a half and third after three quarters. Cintron steered his mount between horses around the turn to take command nearing the quarter-pole and proved best from there, winning by almost four lengths in 1:44.19.
In the Navy Now, seventh of eight in the early going, rallied while four wide under Julian Pimentel to be second, two lengths clear of the show horse Moonlight Basin, who won the pace battle but ultimately lost the war.
Analyze, trained by Michael Matz for Alexander Groves Matz LLC, now has three wins from 11 career starts. It was the first stakes win for the three-year-old Candy Ride filly, who now has earnings of $118,265. It took her six tries to break her maiden, but she’s now won three of her last six.
The Winter Melody is the second-to-last stake on the Delaware calendar for 2017; the meet closes October 21 with the Grover “Buddy” Delp Memorial Stakes for three-year-olds.