Trainer Chad Brown, who experienced great success last year with female turf stars Stacelita and Zagora, now appears to have an emerging turf stakes filly prospect in Jerry Frankel and partners’ impressive Sweetest Chant winner Dayatthespa, the likely favorite in the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) March 11 at Gulfstream Park.
The $150,000 Herecomeethebride is the 10th race on the card and is scheduled for 5:35 p.m,
Leading jockey Javier Castellano was on Dayatthespa to win the Jan. 22 Sweetest Chant by 1 3/4 lengths and will be back aboard. The New York-bred daughter of City Zip was making her first start in the Sweetest Chant since finishing ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 4, when beaten only 5 1/2 lengths for it all.
“Ramon (Dominguez) came back and said she just didn’t handle the (Churchill) course, that it was too soft,” said Brown. “We loved her race in the Sweetest Chant and she’s training great. We’ll just hope for firm ground on Sunday.”
In two starts before the Breeders’ Cup, Dayatthespa won her career debut sprinting on turf at Saratoga and finished second in the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) over the Woodbine course.
The Herecomesthebride has drawn a deeper field than the Sweetest Chant, and Dayatthespa’s rivals in the field of eight include John Oxley’s accomplished pair of Dixie Strike and Northern Passion, first and fourth, respectively, for trainer Mark Casse in the Florida Oaks on grass at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 4. Jockey Jose Lezcano rides Dixie Strike while Luis Contreras is named on Northern Passion.
By First Samurai , Northern Passion won her debut sprinting on Polytrack at Woodbine in July and finished second in the Ontario Debutante before rallying from last of 12 to win the Natalma in her first start on turf. Northern Passion came back to finish a close-up fourth in the Florida Oaks, beaten less than a length with trouble in the race.
Dixie Strike was likely the less fancied of the two Oxley runners in the Florida Oaks but may have gotten the cleaner trip to win by a nose. The daughter of Dixie Union was making her first start on turf after posting two wins and two seconds in as many starts on Polytrack at Woodbine last year. She won the Ontario Lassie in early December by 5 ½ lengths.
Parting Glass Stable’s Wholelottashakin finished second to Dayatthespa in the Sweetest Chant in a good effort and comes back with jockey Alex Solis aboard for trainer Tom Bush. A New York-bred by Scat Daddy, she broke her maiden sprinting on turf at Belmont in September. Wholelottashakin ran well enough when rallying for sixth in the Ginger Brew at Gulfstream Dec. 24, beaten only 1 ¾ lengths.
Shadwell Stable’s Kentucky homebred Almusafa will get solid support with jockey John Velazquez riding for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin after she posted an impressive allowance victory over the course Jan. 26. The daughter of Shadwell stallion Haafhd won her debut on turf at Aqueduct in late November and finished fifth with trouble in the Ginger Brew, beaten only 1 1/4 lengths for it all.
Completing the field for the Herecomesthebride are Stride Rite Stable’s Frolic's Revenge; Chasing Tails Stable’s Ann of the Dance; and Steven Ciccarone’s Regalo Mia. Michael Tabor’s Wait Til Dawn was entered to run on the main track only by trainer Todd Pletcher.
$150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 10, 5:35 p.m.) 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Wholelottashakin A O Solis 116 T M Bush
2. Frolic’s Revenge P Lopez 120 M W Wolfson
3. Northern Passion L Contreras 120 M E Casse
4. Ann of the Dance E Trujillo 116 M D Wolfson
5. Dixie Strike J Lezcano 120 M E Casse
6. Regalo Mia J L Castanon 116 M Nihei
7. Almusafa J R Velazquez 116 K P McLaughlin
8. Dayatthespa J Castellano 120 C C Brown
9. Wait Til Dawn J R Velazquez 116 T A Pletcher