“Winning a Grade 1 at Keeneland – it doesn’t get any better than that,” said Steve Laymon this morning about Dayatthespa’s front-running, two-length victory in the 29th
edition of the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on
Saturday. Laymon, an optometrist from North Carolina, owns Dayatthespa
with Jerry Frankel, Ronald Frankel and Pete Bradley’s Bradley
Thoroughbreds. His wife, Barbara, named the 3-year-old New York-bred
City Zip filly, who is unbeaten in five races – all stakes -- this year.
Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano, Dayatthespa
scored her first Grade 1 win in the 1 1/8-mile QE II. Her streak
includes Keeneland’s 1-mile Appalachian (G3) in April. Her future
appears to include a trip to Southern California.
“The Matriarch (G1) will be the plan,” Laymon said about the $250,000
race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, at a mile on the turf
at Hollywood Park on November 25. He said the Breeders’ Cup World
Championships at Santa Anita on November 2-3 come too soon after the QE
“This was perfect to give her six weeks into this race,” he said
about the QE II, which Dayatthespa entered off a victory in the
Riskaverse at Saratoga on August 31.
Brown, who scored his second Fall Meet stakes win following Balance
the Books in the October 7 Bourbon (G3), also sent out the QE II’s
fourth-place finisher, Martin Schwartz’s Grade 1 winner, Samitar (GB). Dayatthespa and Samitar were scheduled to return to Brown’s New York base on Sunday morning.
“Hopefully things will go well and we’ll be back here in the spring,”
Laymon said about Dayatthespa, referring to the Jenny Wiley (G1), a 1
1/16-mile race on the turf.
Of the other QE II runners:
Runner-up Centre Court, owned by G. Watts Humphrey
Jr., likely is headed to the $175,000-added Mrs. Revere (G2) at a mile
and a sixteenth on November 17 at Churchill Downs.
“She ran well and the race was run the way it looked on paper,”
trainer Rusty Arnold said of Centre Court, who tracked Dayatthespa most
of the race. “The winner is a very good filly. Centre Court is very good
this morning and as long as she is doing good she will go in the Mrs.
Revere and be done for the year.”
Centre Court finished a half-length in front of Godolphin Racing’s Better Lucky, who shipped out for a return trip to New York Sunday morning.
“She came back fine,” said Josh Flores, assistant to trainer Tom
Albertrani. “She’ll fly out to New York this morning and we’ll come up
with a plan, whatever that may be.”
Caroline Forgason’s Somali Lemonade (G1), who finished fifth in the QE II, came out of the race well, according to trainer Michael Matz.
“No pace,” Matz said, referring to Dayatthespa’s performance. The
Mrs. Revere at Churchill also might be the next race for Somali
Lemonade, who won the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) here a year ago.
The sixth-place finish turned in by Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten puzzled trainer Wayne Catalano.
“She’s fine. She scoped clean,” Catalano said. “We really don’t know
what happened. Maybe she didn’t like the turf. Don’t want to go to the
Breeders’ Cup off a race like that. We’ll let her get over that race.”
Glenn Brookfield, assistant to trainer Al Stall Jr., said Spendthrift Farm’s Treasured Up was fine Sunday morning after her seventh-place finish but there were no plans for her next start.
“She is going to get a little break; have some R and R,” Brookfield said.
Also heading back to New York Sunday morning was Richard Santulli’s Tannery (IRE), who finished eighth.
“She bled a little bit, but otherwise she’s fine,” said Sharon
Huston, assistant to trainer Alan Goldberg. “I’m not sure what’s next
for her. The slow pace hurt her yesterday. She needs a faster pace to
close in to.”