Unsung Melody on the Hunt for Breakthrough Win in G2 Prioress

August 31, 2023

Unsung Melody breaks her maiden at third asking March 11 at Oaklawn Park (Coady Photography)

Crown Imperial Will Eye Stakes Action at Kentucky Downs

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— WSS Racing’s stakes-placed Unsung Melody will see a cutback in distance for her graded stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress for sophomore fillies going six furlongs at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by John Ortiz, Unsung Melody made her stakes debut in Opening Week’s restricted Wilton on July 14, going one mile from the Wilson Chute. The Maclean’s Music bay rated a close second down the backstretch and finished a distant third behind the frontrunning Randomized, who exited that effort with a triumph in the Grade 1 Alabama presented by Keeneland Sales on August 19 at the Spa.

Unsung Melody captured both of her wins going the Prioress distance when graduating at third asking on March 11 at Oaklawn Park over next-out winner Into Love. She defeated winners by 3 1/2 lengths two starts later on June 18 at Ellis Park, which garnered a career-high 84 Beyer Speed Figure.

Unsung Melody has only logged one breeze since her most recent outing when going a half-mile in 49.75 seconds on August 13 over the Saratoga main track. Ortiz said he has trained her similarly to his graded stakes-winning juvenile filly Brightwork, who is entered in the Grade 1, $300,000 Spinaway on Sunday at the Spa.

“She’s been doing really well. We’ve been training her in interval training, like we did with Brightwork,” Ortiz said. “She’s been on Clare Court going nice and easy, we took her to the main track and let her have some strong gallops. We gave her one week going into this, and we realized that she likes to go into races very fresh and so we’re hoping that she’s as fresh as can be and she takes them wire to wire.”

Unsung Melody is out of the Bodemeister mare Narrow Sea. Her third dam Magical Flash produced Glinda the Good – the dam of 2017 Champion 2-Year-Old Colt and leading second crop sire Good Magic. She was bought for $65,000 as a weanling at the 2020 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Ortiz reported that Brent Gasaway’s dual stakes-placed juvenile filly Crown Imperial will eye stakes action at Kentucky Downs following a narrow runner-up effort to Amidst Waves in the Bolton Landing on August 20 over Saratoga’s Mellon turf course. The dark bay daughter of Classic Empire was previously third to the same rival in the Colleen on July 29 at Monmouth Park, which was her turf debut. She was previously a two-length debut winner over the main track in May at Horseshoe Indianapolis before finishing second in the Prairie Gold Lassie in July at Prairie Meadows.

Ortiz said Crown Imperial could target the $500,000 Untapable on September 13 going 6 1/2 furlongs at Kentucky Downs.

“We’re looking at the Untapable and we’re hoping to get Tyler Gaffalione back on her,” Ortiz said. “He suggested it and the filly could stretch out some more. She’s got all heart and has never disappointed us in any of her starts. We’re just going to keep chasing the dream with her.”

Crown Imperial is out of the Congrats mare Mi Fiori – a half-sister to 2019 Grade 3 Poker winner Gucci Factor.

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