Bishop’s Pond calls the tune in Winter Melody
File photo of Bishop’s Pond by Dottie Miller.
by Frank Vespe
Scratches made a major impact on the field in Wednesday’s $50,000 Winter Melody Stakes at Delaware Park, slashing the field from 12 fillies and mares to just six in the 1 1/16 mile test.
Perhaps more importantly, they eliminated all of the speed rivals to Bishop’s Pond.
Thus empowered, the six-year-old Curlin mare zipped right to the front, doled out steady fractions, and drew away to an easy four-length score. It was the sixth win of her 28-race career and pushed her earnings to more than $364,000.
Under a hustling Trevor McCarthy ride, Bishop’s Pond broke well and quickly took the early lead. The second choice in the wagering, she was quickly joined by the slight favorite, the multiple Grade 2 winner Tequilita. Those two were just a half-length apart after the opening half-mile in 48.41 seconds, but entering the far turn, McCarthy let Bishop’s Pond out a notch, and Tequilita threw in the towel.
The lead was over three lengths after three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.05, and with the favorite done, it was just about over. Bishop’s Pond led by five leaving the furlong grounds and cruised home easily, stopping the clock in 1:43.20 for the two-turn trip. Hey Niki, with Jorge Vargas, Jr. up, was second, just a head in front of Enthrall and Edgar Prado. Tequilita finished fourth, some 10 lengths behind the winner.
Bishop’s Pond paid $4.60 to win. With 8-1 Hey Niki in second, the $1 exacta was good for $18.00.
Bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kaster, Bishop’s Pond is trained by Jason Servis for a group that includes Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and The Elkstone Group.
The Winter Melody is the final stake of the 2018 meet for fillies and mares. The Bud Delp Memorial takes place next week and is the last stake of the meet.