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BloodHorse: Dayatthespa Wins Breeders Cup

Front-running Dayatthespa, making her first start at the 1 1/4-mile distance, skipped away in the stretch to post a mild upset in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.

Racing over a course rated good after overnight rain in Southern California, Dayatthespa prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths for her third consecutive win. With Javier Castellano in the irons, she completed the 10 furlongs in a good 2:00.12. Dayatthespa scored at odds of 11-2.

Trainer Chad Brown earned his second win of this year’s Breeders’ Cup following Lady Eli in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) Oct. 31.

Stephanie’s Kitten, also trained by Brown, was second by half a length, with Just The Judge heading 2-1 favorite Dank for third. Dank was attempting to become the first two-time winner of the Filly & Mare Turf since the great Ouija Board in 2004 and 2006.

“Javier (Castellano) did an awesome job,” Brown said. “He was able to set an easy pace. We knew that if she got a little tired (on the lead), Stephanie’s Kitten would be coming, so we had it covered either way. I just wish there could be two winners. Both mares ran terrific.”

Dayatthespa entered the Breeders’ Cup off a 1 1/4-length win in the one-mile First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 14 over a good Keeneland turf. A three-time grade I winner in her career, Dayatthespa did not begin her 2014 campaign for Brown until August, winning three of four starts. In a wide open year, she appears to be in in prime position to collect the Eclipse Award as champion turf female with her latest score.

The 5-year-old daughter of City Zip   races for Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Bradley Thoroughbreds. The speedy chestnut mare was bred in New York by Castellare DiCracchiolo Stable, John Cracchiolo and Scott Goldsher out of the Doc’s Leader mare M’Lady Doc.

After unfurling pedestrian fracions of :23.89, :48.37, 1:13.12, and 1:36.96 for the opening mile while maintaining a half-length advantage over 27-1 shot Parranda, Dayatthespa spurted away to lead by two at midstretch. She won under urging as Stephanie’s Kitten, under John Velazquez, rallied from sixth in the lane on the outside to get second.

“I thought she could get the distance if we could get away with a slow pace,” Castellano said. “When we got the three-quarters in 1:13 I thought to myself, ‘We’re going to steal this thing,’ and we did.”

“By the second turn, I put her into the race because they started to slow down in front,” Velazquez said of Stephanie’s Kitten. “I let her get a little closer and thought I had a chance to win, but the leader kept going.”

The stalking Just The Judge, coming off a victory in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-IT) Oct. 19 at Woodbine, raced evenly through the lane to nip the British raider Dank for the show spot.

“She’s run a very game race,” trainer Sir Michael Stoute said of Dank. “They didn’t go fast enough in the middle part of the race for her. Ryan (Moore) was a little further back than he wanted to be and had to come wide, but she’s tried as always.”

Under equal weights of 124 pounds, Dayatthespa paid $13, $6.60, and $4.60 as the third choice, topping a $54.20 exacta with her stablemate, who returned $5.20 and $3.80. the Irish-bred Just The Judge paid $4.60 to show.

Secret Gesture, Parranda, AbacoFiesolanaEmollientRusty Slipper, and Irish Mission completed the order.

With 11 wins and four seconds in 18 lifetime starts, Dayatthespa has banked $2,288,892.

Pete Bradley of Bradley Thoroughbreds purchased Dayatthespa privately from Florida pinhooker Niall Brennan, who bought Dayatthespa as a yearling for $50,000 out of the 2010 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred sale. Bradley put together the partnership that owns her.

Dayatthespa is scheduled to sell Nov. 3 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale, Bradley said.

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