Back on firm ground for her first start of 2012, favored Dayatthespa swept to a 1 3/4-length win in the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes on the Gulfstream Park turf Jan. 22 (VIDEO).
This was the first start for Dayatthespa since she tired to finish ninth on a turf rated good in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) Nov. 5. With Javier Castellano aboard for the first time, Dayatthespa defeated seven 3-year-old filly rivals in the Sweetest Chant as the 7-5 choice. She completed the one-mile distance in 1:34.43 for her first stakes victory.
“She likes the firm ground like it was today. I don’t want to make an excuse for her Breeders’ Cup, but Ramon (Dominguez) said that it was probably too soft for her and she didn’t care for it,” winning trainer Chad Brown said.
A $50,000 Saratoga yearling in August 2010, Dayatthespa is owned by Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Bradley Thoroughbreds. Bred in New York by Castellare DiCracchiolo Stable, Cracchiolo and Goldsher, the chestnut filly is by City Zip out of M'Lady Doc, by Doc's Leader.
Dayatthespa settled near the rear of the pack for 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 Dayatthespa for some run leaving the backstretch, and the New York-bred filly responded while being fanned wide coming into the homestretch by Awesome Belle.
Frolic's Revenge and Wholelottashakin were battling for the lead approaching mid-stretch, but Dayatthespa swept to the front leaving the eighth pole and edged away while racing greenly on the outside.
“I expected to be much closer to the pace, but she broke just a step slow today. Fortunately, they went much faster up front than I expected. She settled beautifully and when I asked her, she picked it up really quickly,” Castellano said. “I had no choice but to go around horses on the turn and to go a little wide."
Brown was also surprised that his filly was so far back early.
“She didn’t break good and got back further than we expected. Javier used good judgment and tucked in,” he said. “There was a good pace up front and they tired, so it worked out.”
Wholelottashakin, ridden by Alex Solis, finished second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Frolic's Revenge and Jose Lerzcano.
Dayatthespa earned $60,000 for her second win in four starts, all on turf, boosting her career total to $124,892. She debuted with a maiden win over state-breds last August at Saratoga by four lengths and then ran second in Woodbine's Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) in September before going into the Breeders' Cup.
The winner carried 116 pounds and paid $4.80, $3.20, $2.40. Wholelottashakin returned $5 and $3.20, rounding out a $27.60 exacta. Frolic's Revenge paid $3.20 to show.