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Yaddo Victory a Walk in the Park for Dayatthespa

By John Scheinman | 08/16/2013 04:26 PM ET
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Putting her Grade 1 talents to full use, 1-4 favorite Dayatthespa made Saratoga Race Course's $150,000 Yaddo her showcase on Friday with an easy 1 ¾-length victory over New York-breds.

With regular rider Javier Castellano aboard, Dayatthespa tracked a moderate pace set by Sally's Dream while clear in second, made her move at the five-sixteenths pole and took over in the lane, never threatened by runner-up Wholelottashakin.

The winning time for the 1 1/16-mile race on the inner turf course was 1:42.57.

For trainer Chad Brown, of nearby Mechanicville, N.Y., victory in the Yaddo was a confidence-builder heading into an ambitious fall campaign for Dayatthespa, who last year won five stakes races including the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

Brown scratched Dayatthespa out of the Grade 1 Diana on July 27 at the Spa, believing she needed more time after her three-quarter-length loss to Laughing in the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap on June 29 at Monmouth Park.

"It's important; it's only her third start of the year," Brown said. "She got beat down at Monmouth, and I just felt I like I needed to get her back on track and run her in an easier race she could handle. This served a purpose, so you're going to see her in grades stakes the rest of the year."

Dayatthespa won on the lead in her victories last year in the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II. She tried to win the Eatontown making the pace as well. Brown was pleased to see a more settled filly in the Yaddo.

"That's another thing Javier and I spoke about, not that we took it for granted we'd definitely win, but if we're going to rate her more, we rather do it in some easier competition, and if she fires the way we think she will, use it as a bit of a training exercise. She's going to have to run against much tougher horses in the fall."

Dayatthespa paid $2.50 for a $2 win wager while scoring for the eighth time in a 12-race career. She increased her lifetime earnings to $743,892.

Runner-up Wholelottashakin was followed home by Inimitable Romanee, Sally's Dream, Shakeira and Love Stanza Chance.