Itsmyluckyday, Woodward S, Saratoga, August 30th 2014
Trained by Eddie Plesa Jnr., Sire: Lawyer Ron. Dam: Viva La Slew
Laurie Plesa owns Itsmyluckyday, who won the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes and finished second in the Preakness last year and won the Grade III Salvator Mile this year, with Trilogy Stable, composed of long-time owners David and Olga Melin and Marion Montanari.
Marion Montanari and her family have been breeding and racing Thoroughbreds for more than three decades. Marion’s late husband, Adelio “Monty” Montanari, passed away in 2001. An educator and advocate for severely disturbed and emotionally troubled children in South Florida, he penned two books on the subject, “Demon in My View” and “The Montanari Book.” The couple founded the non-profit Troubled Children’s Foundation in the early 1970s.
They also enjoyed art, and they raised nearly a million dollars for Florida artists and the fine arts through their foundation, the Miami Salon Group. Marion also founded the Marion Cultural Alliance Salon in Marion Country. Monty loved opera, and he was the host and interpreter for legendary singer Luciano Pavarotti when he visited Miami.
The Montanaris got involved with Thoroughbreds after they moved from the Miami area to Ocala in 1980. In 1990, they purchased a 110-acre farm, where the family keeps most of their broodmares. They also have mares at Idle Hour Farm in Kentucky.
David Melin, a native of the Bronx, N.Y., served in the U.S. Navy, then graduated from Long Island University. After settling in Florida, he founded Tech Aerofoam Products, a foam manufacturer and distributor, and became a distributor of building materials. The company expanded through South Florida and Puerto Rico, and went public in 1962. He sold the company in 1976 and retired in 2000.
He shared Monty Montanari’s loved of opera and is a long-time member of the board of the Florida Grand Opera. He and Olga were named Crown Jewels of Florida Grand Opera and have donated to numerous organizations including Barry University, the University of Miami Frost School of Music, the Miami Salon Group, the Miami City Ballet, the New World Symphony, the Chopin Foundation of the United States and the Sun Valley Symphony.
David and Olga have three daughters, one son, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They have homes in Palm Beach and Sunny Isles Beach in Florida and in Ketchum, Id.