Ceiling Crusher lives up to her name with a 17-length romp in the Melair (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— California-bred superstar in the making, Doug O’Neill’s Ceiling Crusher led throughout en route to a smashing 17-length victory in Sunday’s $150,000 Melair Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Ceiling Crusher remains unbeaten in four starts and in her first try around two turns, got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:44.25.
The Melair is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
A 15 ½ length winner of the 6 ½ furlong Evening Jewel Stakes on April 8, Ceiling Crusher went straight to the front out of the gate and although she was tested around the far turn by eventual third place finisher Chismosa, the Melair was never at any point in doubt as the 3-year-old daughter of Mr. Big had a sixth length advantage three sixteenths of a mile out in an absolute rout.
The prohibitive 1-5 favorite in a field of four sophomore fillies, Ceiling Crusher paid $2.40 and $2.10 with no show wagering.
Owned by Wonderland Racing Stables, LLC, Todd Kady, Tim Kasparoff and Ty Leatherman, Ceiling Crusher, who is out of the Indian Charlie mare Palisadesprincess, picked up $90,000 for the win, running her earnings to $263,400.
Ridden by Kyle Frey, Tom’s Regret was up for second, a neck in front of Chimosa and paid $3.60 to place.
Fractions on the Melair were 23.46, 47.15, 1;10.96 and 1:37.15.
$150,000 MELAIR STAKES
JUAN HERNANDEZ, CEILING CRUSHER, WINNER: “She’s a big filly so we expected that she could go far like a mile or a mile and sixteenth. She was really quiet in the post parade, sometimes she gets a little antsy. We had a really nice break and she took the lead, so I just let her go. I had company for a little while but at the three-eighths I said, ‘I don’t want company anymore.’ So, I asked her and she opened up from the three-eighths to the wire.
“It’s really nice when you ride these nice horses. All the credit goes to my filly because she is really professional. She broke really sharp and put herself on the lead. I was just enjoying the ride.”
DOUG O’NEILL, CEILING CRUSHER, WINNER: “She is a very nice filly. She’s top notch and a quality filly.
“Now we just stay injury free and then we will be looking for something out of California, possibly back east or in the Midwest. The waters now get deeper and we have to start swimming with the better ones.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Wonderland Racing Stables, LLC, Todd Cady, Tim Kasparoff, and Ty Leatherman.