Trainer Roger Attfield and jockey John Velazquez, who
will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame
later this week, teamed up with Kissable on Monday at Saratoga Race
Course to win the $100,000 Richmor Aviation Waya.
Making her United States debut, the 4-year-old filly
ran well off the rail towards the rear as Bizzy Caroline led the field
of nine fillies and mares through an opening half-mile in 51.97
seconds, with the mile going in 1:43.22. Hitting her best stride once
in the stretch, Kissable kicked into high gear to take the lead inside
the eighth pole and galloped under the wire four lengths in front of
Her time for the 1 ½ miles over a yielding turf course was 2:32.52.
“What a great guy and a great person to be around, and
what a great trainer as well!” said Velazquez of Attfield, who has
saddled the winners of more than 1,700 races, including 370 stakes.
“It’s well-deserved, and I’m glad to be part of it. He’s been great to
me for a long time now. He’s given me a lot of good chances on his
Sent off at 4-1, Kissable returned $10.40 for a $2 win
bet and earned $60,000 for her owners, Three Chimneys Racing and Trevor
Harris. The Danehill Dancer filly had one victory and was Group
1-placed in nine starts in her native Ireland, and in her first North
American appearance finished fifth in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly on July
8 at Attfield’s home track, Woodbine.
“She had been training really, really well into it,” said
Attfield by telephone from London, where he is attending the
Olympics. “The race in Canada was a new experience for her. After that
she started to get aggressive in her training. She’s gotten a lot
Attfield and Velazquez, along with the rest of the 2012
Hall of Fame Class, will be officially inducted on Friday in a ceremony
at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion on East Avenue.
“It’s very special,” said Attfield on winning the Waya
with Velazquez, a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey who has won 22
riding titles on the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit.
“I’m glad to see him come back from his injury [broken collarbone] and
doing well, and I’m looking forward to seeing him on Friday.”