The Chad Brown-trained 3-year-old filly hadn’t raced since finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
Dayatthespa settled well off the pace under jockey Javier Castellano, as Ready Signal set solid fractions of :23.01, :47.05 and 1:10.85 while leading the way to the top of the stretch. Castellano asked the Dayatthespa for some run leaving the backstretch, and the New York-bred filly responded with a strong kick, sweeping around tiring horses on the turn and taking dead aim at the leaders in the stretch.
After Ready Signal faded badly in the stretch, Frolic’s Revenge and Wholelottashakin fought it out in mid-stretch, but Dayatthespa was in full stride to the outside and roared past them to victory.
The daughter of City Zip ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:34.43 while prevailing by 1 ¾ lengths. Wholelottashakin, ridden by Alex Solis, finished second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Frolic’s Revenge and jockey Jose Lezcano.
“She likes the firm ground like it was today. I don’t want to make an excuse for her Breeders’ Cup (ninth), but Ramon (Dominguez) said that it was probably too soft for her and she didn’t care for it,” trainer Chad Brown said.
Quote of the Day: “I was expecting a big run out of her. As far as her experience goes, I was concerned about how green she might be. I always felt she had a lot of talent. My only other concern was that she had a lot of turf pedigree to her, but she always worked well on dirt. The way she ran today, I’d expect her to improve a lot,” said trainer Tom Albertrani, who saddled Zo Impressive for a 6 ¼ -length debut victory in the ninth race, an allowance race for 3-year-old fillies.
Work of the Day: Undefeated Hansen turned in his final important preparation for next Sunday’s $400,000 Holy Bull (G3), breezing five furlongs in 59.81 seconds at Gulfstream while working in company with stake-winning stablemate Lou Brissie, who was timed in 1:00.20. The workout was the third fastest of 39 recorded for the distance.
Who’s Hot: Luis Saez rode back-to-back winners in the second and third races aboard Miss Mary Finn ($8) and Just for Frank ($4), respectively.
Javier Castellano added two victories to his meet-leading total with scores in the eighth race aboard Monument Hill and in the 10th aboard Dayatthespa ($4.80).
10-cent Rainbow 6 carryover: $21,862.68
Super Hi 5 carryover: $36,680.35