Melair


Five races. One track. One meet.

That was the career of Melair, and it all transpired at Hollywood Park during the spring and summer of 1986. Equipped with sublime speed, she became a star in the Southland. And although her career was quite brief, she made the most of the time she had on the track.

A California-bred daughter of Debonair Roger and Melrose Nugget, Melair gained attention on the circuit while local stars Snow Chief and Ferdinand were competing back East in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Her career began in late April of 1986, where she won against maiden special weight company. On the day after the Preakness Stakes (which featured a one-two finish by Snow Chief and Ferdinand), Melair succeeded in her first try against winners, taking an allowance contest at the Track of the Lakes and Flowers.

Start number three came in a Grade III contest: the Railbird Stakes, and Melair simply dominated the event. She captured the race by daylight, coming to the wire more than seven lengths clear of the runner up. Another Grade III followed more than two weeks later in the Princess Stakes. No one could defeat her as she moved to victory by well over three lengths.

After making it four consecutive victories, the question was where Melair would go next. Two races were in the mix: the 1 1/8 mile Hollywood Oaks against fillies, or a one mile meeting with the boys in the Silver Screen Handicap. Meanwhile, Marje Everett, who ran Hollywood Park back then, was out to lure Snow Chief, the recent winner of the Preakness Stakes and Jersey Derby, back to town to run in the Silver Screen. She was successful, and soon it became Snow Chief and Melair doing battle in the event. It was two California-bred horses, both imbued with talent, both easy to root for, meeting each other at one of the nation's greatest tracks.

The Silver Screen drew a full field, but Melair and Snow Chief were the attractions. Each horse could run, and they hailed from the Golden State, so supporting them was easy for the local fans. The two gave it their all in the Silver Screen, but the day belonged to Melair. She charged to the front early and never relinquished the lead, taking her opponents all the way to win the Grade II event. Snow Chief was gallant, coming in third place, but Melair was better on the day, scoring her biggest victory in her young career.

As it turned out, the Silver Screen proved to be the zenith of the filly's career.