Favored Dayatthespa spoiled the Keeneland return of Somali Lemonade with a dominating front-running victory the $100,000 Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT) by 2 3/4 lengths on the turf April 19 (VIDEO) .
Ridden by Javier Castellano, Dayatthespa won for her third stakes in as many tries this year while completing the one-mile test for 3-year-old fillies in 1:36.08 over firm going.
Somali Lemonade, making her first start since finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT), ran second after being bumped at the start start. Somali Lemonade won last fall's JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland prior to the Breeders' Cup. Regalo Mia finished third.
Chad Brown trains Dayatthespa, a New York-bred daughter of City Zip, for the partnership of Jerry and Ronald Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Bradley Thoroughbreds. The chestnut filly, out of the Doc's Leader mare M'Lady Doc, was bred by Castellare DiCracchiolo Stable, Cracchiolo, and Goldsher. She cost $50,000 as a yearling at the 2010 Saratoga August sale.
Dayatthespa began the season at Gulfstream Park, easily winning the Sweetest Chant Stakes Jan. 22. She followed that with a hard-fought victory in the 1 1/8-mile Herecomesthebride (gr. IIIT) by a neck over Appalachian foe Regalo Mia March 11 for her first graded stakes tally. Dayatthespa arrived at Keeneland earlier this month and had two works over the synthetic main track.
A late betting move saw Dayatthespa, who washed out before the race, become the 13-10 favorite over 8-5 shot Somali Lemonade.
“She’s very nervous. She had me a little worried pre-race, but that’s her," Brown said. "She’s very high-strung; I think that’s part of what makes her good.”
Breaking from the rail in the field of nine, Dayatthespa went after her eight opponents out of the gate, quickly overtaking Dream Pegasus and Andrew's Girl to lead by two lengths. She rattled off an opening quarter-mile in :23.70, the half in :48.50, and six furlongs in 1:13 flat while maintaining her advantage, and was in command coming into the stretch.
Regalo Mia, ridden by Jesus Castanon, was five wide as she swept past Firehouse Red and Andrew's Girl to take up the chase in the lane. But she never seriously challenged Dayatthespa, who was alone by 4 1/2 lengths at mid-stretch. Dayatthespa won under steady handling from Castellano in the final furlong.
“I had a beautiful trip," Castellano said. "Chad Brown did a great job with the filly because she’s quick out of the gate. She can go :21 real easy, but she relaxed today. She was more kind. She laid back a little bit–a little on her toes, but she’s always that way. Turning for home, I asked her a little bit. She responded so well. I had a little more in the tank.”
Somali Lemonade, with Alex Solis aboard, was also wide coming into the stretch but finished up well to edge Regalo Mia for second by 1 1/4 lengths. Firehouse Red was fourth, followed by Dream Pegasus, Lemon Splendor, Biogio's Gift, and Little Sadie. Andrew's Girl, who loomed a danger leaving the far turn, took a bad step in upper stretch and was pulled up. She was removed from the course by van.
Brown said Dayatthespa would return to New York for her next start. "We'll find something for her up there," he said.
Dayatthespa ran her career record to 4-1-0 in six starts with earnings of $274,892 while paying $4.60, $2.60, and $2.20 across the board. Somali Lemonade, from the Michael Matz barn, returned $3.20 and $2.40 and completed an $11.80 exacta. Third choice Regalo Mia paid $3. The all-favorite trifecta paid $29.60.