Home Horse Racing Corridor of Fame Coach Parcells, Coach Giddings Driving Excessive With Maple Leaf Mel

Corridor of Fame Coach Parcells, Coach Giddings Driving Excessive With Maple Leaf Mel

Corridor of Fame Coach Parcells, Coach Giddings Driving Excessive With Maple Leaf Mel


Invoice Parcells has reached the top {of professional} soccer twice, teaching the New York Giants to a pair of Tremendous Bowl championships. But a victory on the prime degree in Thoroughbred racing has been elusive for the 2013 Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame inductee.

That might change this summer season at Saratoga Race Course.

Parcells, 81, races undefeated Maple Leaf Mel, who improved to 5-for-5 with a 2 ½-length win within the $175,000 Victory Journey Stakes July 8 at Belmont Park.

The Victory Journey is assessed as a Grade 3 race and it was the second win at that degree and fourth stakes win general for Parcells’ gifted 3-year-old filly by Cross Visitors. In North American racing, a Grade 1 race is taken into account the very best degree of competitors and Parcells is in search of his first Grade 1 win.

Coach Melanie Giddings stated Maple Leaf Mel will now goal the $500,000 Take a look at Stakes, a seven-furlong dash on Aug. 5 at Saratoga Race Course that would present the retired coach with that Grade 1 win.

Parcells named the filly after Giddings, a Canada native who was on the time working as an assistant to Jeremiah Englehart and had proven distinctive braveness within the face of adversity. Giddings was recognized in 2020 with Stage 4 endocervical and ovarian most cancers. She had a pair of huge tumors eliminated in June 2020 adopted by months of chemotherapy and radiation remedy into 2021.

“He’s , real particular person and he’s at all times wanting to assist individuals. It’s simply his nature,” Giddings stated of Parcells. “I don’t suppose anybody ever envisions naming a horse after any person and it’s turning out to essentially be one thing. We wish each horse to be one thing, however this simply occurred to be the one.”

The surgical procedure and subsequent remedies have been terribly taxing, however Giddings well being has steadily improved and he or she has remained most cancers free.

Maple Leaf Mel made her first 4 begins for Englehart, however was transferred by Parcells to Giddings, who went out on her personal this 12 months. Giddings, 39, earned her first stakes win within the Victory Journey together with her namesake.

“To me, it could be bizarre to not have Maple Leaf Mel in my barn,” she stated earlier than the Victory Journey.  “After having taken care of her for therefore lengthy, it could be more bizarre to not see her fairly than to see her day by day.

“Often, when individuals identify horses after individuals, it doesn’t prove the best way it’s turned out together with her. I simply hope we will proceed to have success together with her by means of the summer season.”

Maple Leaf Mel received each of her races as a 2-year-old, scoring by 5 lengths in her debut final August after which by 3 ½ lengths within the In search of the Ante Stakes later that month, each at Saratoga Race Course.

She opened her 3-year-old season with a 7 ¼-length romp within the East View Stakes March 24 at Aqueduct after which received the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes Introduced by Case Tractor at Pimlico on the Could 19 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes undercard. The Miss Preakness Stakes got here on a nationwide telecast and was Maple Leaf Mel’s first attempt in a graded stakes, and he or she didn’t disappoint.

Maple Leaf Mel made her first official begin for Giddings within the Victory Journey Stakes July 8, and the coach admitted to feeling the stress.

“I used to be extra nervous for the filly than myself. I don’t even really feel prefer it’s about me,” stated Giddings, who additionally labored with Corridor of Fame trainers Mark Casse and Steve Asmussen. “I simply felt like she was 4-for-4 and I might simply hate for her to have something unhealthy in her life. She’s been so good to me.”

Maple Leaf Mel dominated but once more for Parcells’ August Daybreak Farm and Giddings within the Victory Journey, main from begin to end in a 2 ½-length victory to stay unbeaten. Subsequent up is the Take a look at Stakes and an opportunity for Maple Leaf Mel to provide each Parcells and Giddings their first Grade 1 win.

“That may be the purpose. I hope the entire group is there,” Giddings stated after the Victory Journey win. “In a approach, we’re all a part of the staff. I’ve been texting Jeremiah all day in regards to the filly and he wished me one of the best of luck. I want he may have been right here with me.”



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