Artax H.

( 7f ,)

SPEIGHTSTOWN (CH h, 116 lb) $60,000
Gone West —Silken Cat , by Storm Cat
B—Marie D. Jones, KY.; O—Melnyk, Eugene and Laura; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Pretty Wild (B h, 111 lb) $20,000
Wild Again —Pretty Discreet , by Private Account
B—E. Paul Robsham, KY.; O—E. Paul Robsham Stables LLC; T—Stanley M. Hough

Wacky for Love (DK B/ g, 115 lb) $11,000
Gold Fever —Bluff for Bluff , by Pine Bluff
B—Carol M. Davis, KY.; O—Hammer Time Stable LLC; T—Keith Sirota

Margins: 4½, nose, 3¼. Others: Dancing Guy 113($6,000) , Jersey Giant 116($3,000) , Fire and Glory 114 , Vinemeister 115 , Pass Rush 116 , Deer Lake 114 . Winning Jockey, Eibar Coa.

It was hard not to mistake Eugene and Laura Melnyk’s Speightstown for a $2-million horse. The son of Gone West dueled with Pretty Wild for the first part of the March 27 Artax Handicap at Gulfstream Park before putting that rival away in the stretch and winning by 41/2 lengths in the good time of 1:22.03.

Speightstown, who actually cost $2 million, bears the name of a port city on Barbados, the island where the Melnyks call home. Eugene Melnyk bought Speightstown for that price at the 1999 Keeneland July yearling sale from Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for the horse’s breeders, Aaron and Marie Jones. Speightstown was foaled at the Taylor family’s Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky. The Joneses also are represented this year as breeders by Ashado, who captured the March 6 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) in her 3-year-old debut. Ashado has won five of seven career starts.

The Joneses acquired Speightstown’s dam, Silken Cat, following her 2-year-old season in 1995. A daughter of Storm Cat, Silken Cat was Canada’s champion 2-year-old filly for Sam-Son Farm. Following the acquisition, Silken Cat made one start for Marie Jones in 1996 and was bred the following year. Speightstown is her first foal.

Silken Cat is in foal to Unbridled’s Song, who stands at Taylor Made. She is booked back to him.

The Joneses also keep Ashado’s dam, Goulash, and their Eclipse Award winner Riboletta at Taylor Made. Goulash foaled a Storm Creek colt this year and is booked to Unbridled’s Song. Riboletta was barren for this year and has been bred to Forest Camp.

The Joneses, who have done business with the Taylor family for years, stand their grade I winner Forestry at Taylor Made. Artax, a champion sprinter for Ernie Paragallo, also holds court at Taylor Made.

The Melnyks have raced such grade I winners as Harmony Lodge, Marley Vale, and Tweedside, as well as millionaire colt Graeme Hall, whom they stand at their Winding Oaks Farm near Ocala, Fla. Harmony Lodge won the First Lady Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream in January.

Gone West has sired 73 stakes winners, including additional 2004 added-money winner Conroy (UAE-III). Gone West stands at Mill Ridge Farm, owned by Alice Chandler and husband Dr. John Chandler, near Lexington.—D.S.