OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Bye Bye Melvin put to rest any doubts trainer Graham Motion had about the 5-year-old son of Uncle Mo stretching out to 12 furlongs with a game pacesetting second in Saturday’s 12-furlong Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
The Alex M. Campbell, Jr. homebred equaled his career-best 101 Beyer with his runner-up effort to War Like Goddess, logging the same number in his previous effort when a wire-to-wire winner going nine furlongs on September 1 at Saratoga Race Course.
Guided by Feargal Lynch, Bye Bye Melvin logged honest splits of 24.25 seconds, 48.96, 1:13.68 and 1:39.10, and battled gamely in mid-stretch when challenged by War Like Goddess to finish 2 3/4 lengths in arrears of the dual Grade 1-winning mare.
“Considering it was his first time doing that, I thought it was very impressive. It was fairly obvious on paper that he’d be on the lead and Feargal did a good job with him,” Motion said.
The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic was Bye Bye Melvin’s third start off a 14-month layoff. Prior to his September victory, he was a close fourth beaten a neck in July at Saratoga in a race won by next-out graded stakes winner Emaraaty. This was his first start since finishing a well-beaten tenth in the Grade 1 Manhattan in June 2021 at 10 furlongs, which prior to the Joe Hirsch was the furthest he had traveled.
Out of the Grade 1-winning Dynaformer mare Karlovy Vary, Bye Bye Melvin is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes-winning turf stayer Mean Mary, by Scat Daddy, who was also conditioned by Motion.
“I was a little concerned [regarding stamina] just because of the Uncle Mo on top, whereas she was by Scat Daddy,” Motion said. “You never quite know. His one race going a mile and a quarter was a little disappointing, but I don’t think he was doing as well then as he is now. He’s some animal. In the flesh, he’s an impressive-looking individual.”
Motion said a rematch with War Like Goddess in the 12-furlong Grade 1, $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 5 at Keeneland will be under consideration for Bye Bye Melvin. Motion previously captured the Turf with Better Talk Now  and Main Sequence .
“We’ll take a look at the Breeders Cup,” Motion said. “We ran Mean Mary [seventh in the 2020 Filly and Mare Turf] and things didn’t work out. I don’t think it was through any fault of her own. But I feel like there’s no reason not to give it a try. It’s Mr. Campbell’s home track, and this is what it’s all about. The horse who beat him yesterday will be the favorite in whichever race she goes in.”
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Bye Bye Melvin (inside) leads them into the turn in the G1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (Dom Napolitano)
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