ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2009) – Zayat Stable’s Kays and Jays, having recovered from a foot abscess that sidelined her in July, returned to action Sunday to turn back fast-closing Irish Gypsy and win the seven-furlong $67,338 Cascapedia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by three-quarters of a length at Santa Anita.

The second running of the Cascapedia provided Joel Rosario with his second win on Oak Tree’s closing day and moved him to within one victory of leader Rafael Bejarano, 31-30, in the 31-day meet’s jockeys’ standings. Bejarano emerged with the title when Rosario failed to win with his final two mounts.

The speedy Kays and Jays broke a step slowly in her comeback, but Rosario hustled her to the lead and the daughter of Macho Uno had enough in reserve to resist Irish Gypsy with Garrett Gomez aboard. Saucey Evening, ridden by Jeremy Rose, finished third, 2 ½ lengths back in the field of eight. The winning time was 1:22.52.

As the 17-20 favorite, Kays and Jays paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.40. Irish Gypsy returned $4.20 and $2.80 while Saucey Evening, the 3-1 second choice, paid $2.80 to show.

Kays and Jays, a $120,000 sales purchase last year, began her career with four races in the East before being transferred to the Southern California stable of Mike Mitchell early this year.

“Mike told me that she runs good when she makes the lead, and she did,” Rosario said following the Cascapedia. “I tried to save something for the finish and I knew the other filly was coming, but she had something left.”

“I was kind of concerned about the seven-eighths distance,” said Mitchell. “I didn’t think the synthetic track would bother her. She ran one time on a synthetic track and it was long (2009 Hollywood Oaks at 1 1/16 miles when fading to seventh). But the seven-eighths was a question, although they didn’t seem to press me early.”

The victory was the fifth in nine starts for Kays and Jays and her third in five races for Mitchell. The stakes victory was her second. She had been victorious by 9 ½ lengths in Lone Star Park’s Richland Hills Stakes on April 25 with a swift 1:08 2/5 clocking for six furlongs. The Cascapedia’s winning purse of $38,430 raised her career earnings to $227,030.

Following a four-day hiatus, local racing moves to Hollywood Park on Friday evening for the opening of its autumn meet. Santa Anita, meanwhile, will remain open for simulcast wagering before racing returns with the traditional Dec. 26 opening of its winter-spring meeting.