Awesome Wind Gets Melvis Back in the Building

    Before Sunday, Melvis Gonzalez’s two claims to fame were (1) his agent is former multiple Gr. I-winning jockey Chantal Sutherland, and (2) people would get a big kick out of saying “Melvis has left the building.” 

    The apprentice rider has added No. 3 to the list. His first winner, with just his eighth mount, came in the fourth race at Gulfstream Park yesterday aboard Awesome Wind. While the rest of the field carried several pounds more, Gonzalez was in with a light 110 in a race at 5 1/2 furlongs over the Tapeta surface. Awesome Wind sprinted right to the lead, then put up fractions of :22.67 and :45.49 en route to a 1 3/4-length score in 1:04.09.     

    The 3-year-old gelding by Bahamian Squall won in his fifth start and paid $7.40, while earning a check of $15,000 for owner/breeder Jacks or Better Farm. He received an Equibase ‘E’ speed figure of 71 for the impressive effort.