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Breeders' Cup 2017

Matriarch Likely for Dayatthespa

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.

“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 II.

“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.”



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On October 28, Dayatthespa breezed 4F in 48:19 (3/11) on the inner turf at Belmont Park.

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