TrainerAidan P. O'Brien
Aptly named for the prominent German composer of the early 1800s, Mendelssohn is almost as famous for his vocal antics as he is for his racing accomplishments. Since his American debut at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup where he won the Juvenile Turf, he has amused everyone around him with his whinnying and screaming all the way to and from the racetrack both in the morning and afternoon.
Fortunately, for Mendelssohn, he has been able to back up his vocal talents with strong performances on the racetrack. Owned by the Irish powerhouse Coolmore and trained one of the world’s top trainers, Aidan O’Brien, he was the $3 million sales topper at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale and has lived up to his early expectations as the son of top sire Scat Daddy and Broodmare of the Year Leslie’s Lady. His half-sister is three-time Breeders’ Cup winner and multiple champion Beholder.
Following his one length victory in the Breeders’ Cup, Mendelssohn’s connections set their site on the Kentucky Derby and the path they chose to get there was through Dubai. Making his debut on dirt, Mendelssohn turned in one of the most impressive prep races when he demolished the field of the UAE Derby by 18 ½ lengths in track record time.
The wet track was Mendelssohn’s undoing in the Kentucky Derby and he was eased to the wire after a troubled trip, but the world traveler, who is based in Ireland, rebounded to finish third in the Dwyer Stakes at New York’s Belmont Park July 7. He is likely to make at least one more U.S. start before he looks to redeem himself back at Churchill for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.