Turf Melody prefers dirt. After placing in a pair of synthetic-track stakes this fall, he put it all together Sunday at Remington Park, when he nipped six-time winner Man Chester Man on the wire to win the $200,000 Springboard Mile. The rich race for 2-year-olds was the final stakes of the meet, which will close Monday.
Turf Melody ($10.40) invaded from trainer Graham Motion's base of Fair Hill in Maryland for the Springboard, fresh off an allowance win at Laurel. He broke with the field Sunday and was guided over to the rail into the first turn. Turf Melody settled in about eight lengths back as Perfect Drive led the field through an opening quarter in 23 seconds, pushed along by Man Chester Man.
Those two carried on through a half-mile in 46.40, while Turf Melody moved up from ninth down the backside and advanced nicely on the final turn. The eventual winner was then bothered by a rival in the final eighth of a mile but was undeterred and went on to a nose score, covering the distance on a fast track in 1:38.41.
Jeremy Rose was aboard Turf Melody for owner Priscilla Graham. The winner is a son of Maria's Mon and he was purchased as a yearling at Keeneland for $200,000. He is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Stanley Park.
Earlier this year, Turf Melody finished third in both the $53,000 Spectacular Bid at Arlington Park and the $169,000 Swynford at Woodbine. He has now won 3 of 7 starts, with all of his victories coming on conventional dirt, the first being a 15-length maiden romp at Colonial Downs.
Kitty's Turn finished third in the Springboard, 1 1/4 lengths behind runner-up Man Chester Man.