Robert and Lawana Low’s Sweet Melania moved to the lead on the backstretch and then drew off in the stretch to post a 5½-length victory over Witez in the 29th running of the $200,000 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G2) for 2-year-olds fillies before a Wednesday afternoon crowd of 9,583.
The victory, by the largest margin in the history of the race, earned Sweet Melania a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) to be contested at a mile on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. The JPMorgan Chase Jessamine was the final Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for this year’s World Championships.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Sweet Melania covered the 1 1/16 miles on a turf course labeled as good in 1:43.13.
Favored Jezebel’s Kitten led the field into the first turn with Sweet Melania in closest pursuit through a first quarter-mile in :23.29. Midway on the backstretch, Sweet Melania moved to the front and maintained a comfortable advantage over Jezebel’s Kitten until the top of the stretch where Sweet Melania kicked clear to put the race away.
The victory was worth $120,000 and increased Sweet Melania’s earnings to $204,000 with a record of 5-2-1-2.
Sweet Melania is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the Discreet Cat mare Sweet N Discreet. Consigned by Gainesway, Sweet Melania sold at last year’s Keeneland September Sale for $600,000.