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Dayatthespa Wins Hard-Fought Victory as Favorite in Herecomesthebride
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Jerry Frankel, Ronald Frankel and Steve Laymon’s Dayatthespa was sent off as the 9-to-10 favorite in a field of eight 3-year-olds fillies in Sunday’s $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, but was all out to hold Steven Ciccarone’s 11-to-1 Regalo Mia safe for a neck victory in the 1 1/8 miles turf test.
Leading Gulfstream jockey Javier Castellano let Daystatthespa take a comfortable stalking position in second behind Stride Rite Stable’s longshot Frolic’s Revenge early in the race, and took command turning for home before turning back a final challenge from the runner-up.
Shadwell Stable’s Almusafa rallied for third, 3 ¼ lengths behind Regalo Mia, but was disqualified to sixth after a stewards’ inquiry for bothering John Oxley’s Northern Passion in the stretch, elevating Oxley-owned stablemate Dixie Strike to third.
“The plan was to sit second or third early in the race and it set up perfect for her,” said co-owner Steve Laymon as trainer Chad Brown was in Ocala for the sales. “The big thing with her is she needs hard turf like it was today. She didn’t get that in the Breeders’ Cup. It was too soft for her.
“If you look at her dam, her past performances don’t show much, but she’s a full-sister to a Virginia Derby winner, Phi Beta Doc. We don’t have any plans to try her on dirt, but you might see her on Polytrack at Keeneland. We’ll talk it over with Chad (Brown).”
Dayatthespa is a New York-bred daughter of City Zip and was purchased for $50,000 at the Saratoga yearling sales. She had won the Sweetest Chant Stakes over the Gulfstream course last out on Jan. 22 in her first start since finishing ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4. She paid $3.80 for $2 to win Sunday and was timed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47:30 on ‘firm’ ground.
Castellano said, “She was acting up a little bit before the race, but as soon as she got by the starting gate she completely calmed down and went about her business. She broke so fast. I thought before the race I would be sitting third tracking the two horses that seemed to have speed, but after she broke so fast I just settled her down right off the pace.
“She was very impressive today. It was her first time going a mile-and-an-eighth and she did it beautifully. In the stretch she saw the other horse coming and just ran on that much more.”
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