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Dayatthespa Looks Tough to Beat in Yaddo

Dayatthespa and Javier Castellano win the 29th running of the Queen Elizabeth 2 Challenge Cup, Grade 1 $400,000 at Keeneland Racecourse. October 13, 2012.
Poised for a run in the Grade 1 Diana on July 27, trainer Chad Brown scratched multiple graded stakes-winning filly Dayatthespa the day of the race, saying she needed more time to train after a recent hard start.

 

Two weeks later, Dayatthespa shows up as the 2-5 morning-line favorite for the 34th running of the $150,000 Yaddo, a 1 1/16-mile grass race for New York-bred fillies and mares at Saratoga Race Course.

 

The race will mark a rare venture into state-bred company for Dayatthespa, a 4-year-old daughter of City Zip, who last October won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland to punctuate a five-race, all-stakes winning streak.

 

"The time was helpful," Brown said of the extra days of training he gave Dayatthespa after scratching from the Diana. "She's got her energy level back, and she's really doing well. We're looking forward to running her again and getting her back on track."

 

After winning the Queen Elizabeth II, Dayatthespa closed out her 3-year-old season by finishing fifth as the beaten favorite in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park. She returned to the races this past May at Belmont Park, throttling New York-breds in an overnight stakes race by four lengths.

 

Brown then gave Dayatthespa seven weeks off and ran her in the Grade 3 Eatontown at Monmouth Park, where she finished second by three-quarters of a length to Laughing, the subsequent upset winner of the Diana.

 

Dayatthespa faces five other runners in the Yaddo, including stablemate Shakeira, an uncoupled entry, and Brown considers the race a steppingstone to major events.

 

"We're expecting to get her back and running in graded stakes," Brown said of Dayatthespa. "Right now, it looks like the right race for her. Being a New York-bred, it gave us an extra couple races on the calendar [to choose from], and if we need them, we can use them. I like the timing of the race; I like the distance of the race; I like that I can get [jockey] Javier [Castellano] back on her, and she likes Saratoga."

 

Dayatthespa is unbeaten in two starts at Saratoga, having won her debut, a 5 ½-furlong grass sprint in 2011, and the Riskaverse Stakes last year.

 

Brown also will run Shakeira, a 5-year-old daughter of Freud coming off a troubled sixth-place finish in the On The Bus overnight stakes on July 19 at the Spa. In the race, she was bumped repeatedly and checked.

 

Shakeira had won three straight starts before that, including the Mount Vernon Stakes for New York-breds on June 1 at Belmont Park. She has won seven of 17 grass starts and $377,422 racing on the surface.

 

Also running in the Yaddo will be Love Stanza Chance, a Chester and Mary Broman homebred, trained by Tom Albertrani.

 

The 5-year-old gray mare will be making her first stakes appearance after 18 starts. She scored in her most recent outing, an optional claimer for New York-breds on July 13 at Belmont Park.

 

"Big step up, you know?" Albertrani said. "We're hoping to just get a nice race out of her off the win. We're just kind of hoping for a good effort and to get a piece of it. You never know what's going to happen. The last couple races, she's been in good form, and it would be nice to get a good placing in here."

 

Trainer Graham Motion will run Inimitable Romanee, third last fall in the John Hettinger Stakes at the Spa and second by a neck to Shakeira two races back in the Mount Vernon.

 

Wholelottashakin, fifth last out in the On The Bus, and late supplemental entry Sally's Dream, winner of an optional claimer on August 7 at Saratoga, complete the field.

 

 

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