The Australian-bred filly Melito became the first horse to qualify for the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) through the international Breeders' Cup Challenge series by winning the six-furlong Darley TJ Smith Stakes (Aust-I) April 10 at Randwick Racecourse. The 4-year-old daughter of Redoute’s Choice stormed down the turf course stretch to defeat the favored Hot Danish by three-quarters of a length in the seven horse field.
The TJ Smith Stakes was the first race of the 2010 international Breeders' Cup Challenge, a global series of stakes races whose winners earn automatic starting positions in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 5-6 at Churchill Downs.
Melito, trained by Gerald Ryan and ridden by Blake Shinn, captured her first win of 2010 following a third place finish in the Cleanevent Birthday Card Stakes March 27 at Rosehill. Melito was bred by her owners, John and David Rippon of Reavill Racing Syndicate. The April 10 triumph was also Melito’s first group I victory.