Gulfstream Park H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 9.5f ,)

HARLINGTON (DK B/ h, 114 lb) $180,000
Unbridled —Serena's Song , by Rahy
B—Lewis Thoroughbreds, KY.; O—Melnyk Racing Stables, Inc.; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Contante (ARG) (DK B/ h, 113 lb) $60,000
Interprete (ARG) —Consociada (ARG) , by Cipayo (ARG)
B—Haras Abolengo, ARG.; O—Cobra Farm and Castletop Stable; T—Stanley M. Hough

It's No Joke (DK B/ h, 116 lb) $33,000
Distorted Humor —It's Personal , by Personal Flag
B—WinStar Farm, LLC, KY.; O—Stan E. Fulton; T—Rebecca Maker

Margins: neck, ¾, 1½. Others: Whos Crying Now 116($18,000) , Andromeda's Hero 116($9,000) , Suave 116 , Funny Cide 114 , Sun King 117 . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.

Harlington’s $2.8 million cost is starting to pay off. The 4-year-old son of Unbridled captured his first stakes when he won the March 4 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) for Melnyk Racing Stables. The race also attracted 2003 champion and dual classic winner Funny Cide, who finished seventh.

Eugene Melnyk, who races Harlington with his wife, Laura, paid $2.8 million for the colt at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. The price was the second-highest of the year for a yearling colt. Craig Bandoroff’s Denali Stud consigned as agent for Robert and Beverly Lewis, who bred Harlington in the name Lewis Thoroughbreds. Robert Lewis died Feb. 17, and his wife is carrying on the breeding and racing stable. The stable includes homebred Folklore, who was 2005 champion 2-year-old filly.

As much as Harlington sold for, he isn’t even the most expensive offspring from his dam, champion Serena’s Song, who raced for the Lewises. Two others sold as yearlings for more. Serena’s Song’s 7-year-old daughter, Sophisticat (by Storm Cat), went for $3.4 million at the 2000 Keeneland July yearling sale to Coolmore Stud associate Demi O’Byrne and developed into a stakes winner. A Storm Cat—Serena’s Song colt sold for $3.5 million to John Ferguson Bloodstock at the 2005 Keeneland September sale.

Serena’s Song developed into racing’s all-time leading money-earning distaffer and a Hall of Famer. She retired with $3,283,388. Four of her first five foals are stakes winners and the other is stakes-placed.

Serena’s Song is boarded at Denali near Paris, Ky. She is in foal to Storm Cat and booked back to him.

Eugene Melnyk is chairman and CEO of Biovail, a major pharmaceutical firm. The Melnyks, who live in Barbados and own Winding Oaks Farm near Ocala, Fla., were the second-leading owners by 2005 North American earnings, with $5.8 million.

In addition to Harlington, the Melnyks are represented by additional 2006 stakes winners Bishop Court Hill and Pool Land, both of whom were stakes winners at Aqueduct in January.

Harlington is from the final crop of Unbridled, sire of 45 stakes winners, who died in the fall of 2001. Unbridled was represented last year by grade I winners Eddington and Smuggler. Eddington stands at the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm near Paris where Unbridled last stood. Smuggler was 2005 champion 3-year-old filly.—D.S.