Dayathespa wins the Herecomesthebride Stakes.

Dayathespa wins the Herecomesthebride Stakes.

Coglianese Photos

Dayatthespa Earns Grade in Herecomesthebride

Odds-on choice takes advantage of slow pace to win by a neck on Gulfstream turf.

Odds-on Dayatthespa became a graded stakes winner when she held off Regalo Mia in the final strides to capture the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) by a neck on the Gulfstream Park turf course March 11.

Winner of the non-graded Sweetest Chant Stakes in her previous start Jan. 22, Dayatthespa made it consecutive victories over the course while completing the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-old fillies in 1:47.30.

Dayatthespa, the 9-10 favorite, raced just off a pedestrian pace set by Frolic's Revenge before seizing the lead under jockey Javier Castellano coming into the stretch. The daughter of City Zip opened up a clear advantage in the lane, then had to dig in late as 11-1 shot Regalo Mia angled out a bit for the drive and made it close in the final strides.

Regalo Mia, ridden by Jesus Castanon, finished 3 1/4 lengths in front of the original third-place finisher Almusafa, who was disqualified and placed sixth. Florida Oaks winner Dixie Strike, ridden by Jose Lezcano, was moved up to third.

Chad Brown trains Dayatthespa 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 in New York by Castellare DiCracchiolo Stable and Goldsher. She cost $50,000 as a yearling at the 2010 Saratoga August sale.

Dayatthespa ran ninth in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT), the only time in her career she has been out of the money.

Breaking from the far outside, Dayatthespa angled over to race off the rail as Frolic's Revenge carved fractions of :24, :48.60, and 1:12.73 before giving way at the head of the stretch. Dayatthespa was ideally spotted throughout.

“The plan was to sit second or third early in the race and it set up perfect for her," said co-owner Laymon "The big thing with her is she needs hard turf like it was today. She didn’t get that in the Breeders’ Cup. It was too soft for her. If you look at her dam, her past performances don’t show much, but she’s a full sister to a Virginia Derby winner, Phi Beta Doc. We don’t have any plans to try her on dirt, but you might see her on Polytrack at Keeneland. We’ll talk it over with Chad.”

Dayatthespa, second in Woodbine's Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) in her second start last September, earned her third win in five races, all on turf. The nine furlongs was the farthest she has gone. Dayatthespa has earned $214,892.

“She was acting up a little before the race but as soon as she got by the starting gate she completely calmed down and went about her business," Castellano said of the winner. "She was very impressive today. It was her first time going a mile and an eighth and she did it beautifully. In the stretch she saw the other horse coming and just ran on that much more.”

Dayatthespa carried 120 pounds to victory and paid $3.80, $3.20, $2.40. Regalo Mia, a close third in Tampa Bay's Florida Oaks Feb. 4, returned $7.60 and $5.60 and completed a $31.60 exacta. Dixie Strike, whose closing style was compromised by the lack of pace, paid $2.60 to show and was part of a $148.40 trifecta.

Wholelottashakin was moved to fourth, followed by Northern Passion, who stewards ruled was interfered with during the stretch run by Almusafa. Frolic's Revenge and Ann of the Dance trailed. Wait Til Dawn was entered for the main track only.