Cross Traffic’s undefeated Maple Leaf Mel dominates the Miss Preakness S. (G3)
May 19, 2023
Maple Leaf Mel ran her record to a perfect 4-for-4 with a scintillating performance in Friday’s $150,000 Miss Preakness S. (G3) at Pimlico.
The 3-year-old daughter of Cross Traffic has won her four starts by a combined 17 ¾-lengths. The Miss Preakness was her first graded stakes win, with her prior stakes wins coming in the East View S. at Aqueduct in March and the Seeking the Ante S. at Saratoga last August.
Maple Leaf Mel broke well and battled for the lead with Key of Life in early strides of the six-furlong race, taking over by a length in the first furlong. She sped through fractions of :22.26 and :45.21, and despite the very fast early pace, was never really asked for anything near her best in the stretch. She was eased up under the wire to win by 1 ½-lengths in a quick 1:09.56 for the six-furlongs on a fast track.
“She has a lot of speed,@ said Rosario, who has been aboard all four of the grey’s starts. “Her break wasn’t really fast but she has so much speed. After she got to the lead, she looked around a little bit. And I just let her do her thing and she had something left turning for home.”
Owned by Bill Parcells, Maple Leaf Mel has earned $304,000. She was bred by Joe Fafone and sold to Parcell’s August Dawn Farm for $150,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale.
Cross Traffic has had a terrific spring, with four stakes winners over the past two months, topped by Defining Purpose in the Ashland S. (G1) and Here Mi Song winning the Commonwealth S. (G3).