Dayatthespa wins the You Go West Girl Stakes.
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Dayatthespa wins the You Go West Girl Stakes.
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Coglianese Photos

Dayatthespa Tallies in Comeback at Belmont

Grade I winner made her first appearance since being hurt in last fall's Matriarch.

Dayatthespa, making her first appearance since she was injured attempting to hop the rail in the Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) last fall, was much the best in the $88,200 You Go West Girl (VIDEO) overnight stakes May 5 at Belmont Park.

Winning trainer Chad Brown said he was using the one-mile turf event for older fillies and mares as Dayatthespa's test race for the $500,000 Just a Game (gr. IT) June 8. The grade I winner was nearly retired when she suffered a cut tendon after spooking in the Nov. 25 Matriarch at Betfair Hollywood Park and propping at the rail.

"We were lucky to get her back," Brown said. "For a moment we were considering retiring her; we didn't think she would come back good. We tested her out a little bit at Palm Meadows during the early part of the breeding season, and she trained well and has never looked back. We thought this was a good spot to get her started."

Dayatthespa was a four-length winner in her comeback bid, cruising under the wire in a sharp 1:33.52 over firm turf. It was her first start over the Belmont turf.

A New York-bred daughter of City Zip, 4-year-old Dayatthespa is owned by Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Bradley Thoroughbreds. Bred by Castellare DiCracchiolo Stable, Cracchiolo & Goldsher, Dayatthespa is out of the Doc's Leader mare M'Lady Doc.

Last year's Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) winner brought $50,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York Saratoga 2010 Preferred New York-Bred Yearling Sale. She has banked $633,892 while winning seven of 10 lifetime races, including six of her past seven.

Dayatthespa faced just four opponents in her return and was sent off as the 1-4 choice with Javier Castellano aboard. The chestnut  made the lead nearing the quarter pole after stalking pacesetter My Jopia in second. She battled Kibosh, ridden by Jose Ortiz, in upper stretch under some urging from Castellano before gradually gaining command and easing clear.

Quarter-mile fractions were :23.20, :46.66, and 1:09.69.

"She was much the best in the field," Castellano said. "It was a small group, but she was coming off a layoff and I didn't want to hook up and get into a speed duel in the first part of the race.

"She settled beautiful, and the other horses came out kind of quick early. She responded and did everything the right way today. I'm glad she came back good after the layoff and did it the way she did it."

Dayatthespa, under 120 pounds, paid $2.10 across, with runner-up Kibosh returning $3.20 and $2.10. Elusive Rumour was 4 3/4 lengths farther back in third and paid $2.30. My Jopia and Mystic City followed. Lady On the Run scratched.