What a Dayatthespa.
What a week, thanks in part to 3-year-old filly Dayatthespa, it has been for trainer and Mechanicville native Chad Brown, who watched her win Friday’s $100,000 Riskaverse for his third straight day winning the featured race at Saratoga Race Course.
Brown also won the P.G. Johnson on Wednesday and the Grade II With Anticipation on Thursday. All three of these were turf routes, Friday’s covering a mile on the inner turf for 3-year-old fillies.
Dayatthespa won her fourth straight, all under jockey Javier Castellano, this one off a four-month layoff.
“What a week,” Brown said. “It was a terrific ride by Javier, and the filly showed up. We’ve got a patient ownership group here. Jerry and Ronnie Frankel couldn’t be here today, or Peter Bradley, who bought this horse. Steve Laymon, one of the original partners, is still in, and he’s here. It’s a big patient ownership group behind this horse, and when I told them she needed time, no one pressured me. They just said do whatever you want to do with her. That’s what it takes to maintain a campaign, I think, from start to finish. Patient owners and good horses.”
Dayatthespa and Assateague both broke for the lead, and Assateague was determined to be out front under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. Castellano sat just off the daughter of Stormy Atlantic and waited until they were halfway through the far turn to make her move. She rounded into the stretch on the outside of Assateague, then finished strongly for a 11⁄4-length win.
Assateague dropped back to last of eight, while Peace Preserver rallied for second, beating out Alaura Michele by a neck.
“She broke a step slow, maybe just a little rusty from not running,” Brown said. “Javier did a good job to use her that first quarter just to get a spot. He told me that 1 was hell-bent on having the lead, so he just went to Plan B — Plan A for us was going right to the lead — and he executed Plan B beautifully. He thought he had her measured up pretty good turning for home, he told me, and he decided to take her out early. He just let her run down the lane and held everyone else off.”
Brown said if Dayatthespa comes back in good order, he’ll consider entering her in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 13, a $400,000 purse for a 11⁄8-mile turf run.
Palace Malice will not run in the Grade II $300,000 Hopeful on Monday after a bucked shin was discovered after a workout last Monday.
After breezing four furlongs in 48.90, the bucked shin — inflammation around bones in the front legs — was found. It is not an uncommon injury with young thoroughbreds.
The 2-year-old Curlin colt was bought for $200,000 at the Keeneland 2-Year-Olds Training Sale in April by Dogwood Stable.
“He is a May foal, so it’s not a complete shock that he has bucked,” Dogwood president Cot Campbell said in a prepared statement. “But it is a blow, because we thought he would be salty to accomplish Dogwood’s third win in the Hopeful. But now, he ships this weekend to Dr. Bob Copelan in Kentucky and will be treated for the shin problem. He will then rehab in Aiken for a 3-year-old campaign in Florida.”
Jockey Ramon Dominguez won a pair of races, edging closer to the record for wins in a meet.
The record is 65, and was set in 2004 by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Dominguez has three days left, and stands at 59 wins.
HERE AND THERE
My Happy Face was three lengths ahead of the field after about five strides from the gate in the first race, going off to win the 51⁄2 -furlong dirt run for 2-year-old fillies by 211⁄4 lengths. . . .
Mildly Offensive won the $100,000 Big Bambu in the third race by a half-length over Kid Kate, trained by Brown.