Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dayatthespa, Big Blue Kitten top turf stakes on Whitney undercard

The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Contact: NYRA Press Office

(718) 659-2351


Dayatthespa, Big Blue Kitten top turf stakes on Whitney undercard


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Dayatthespa and Big Blue Kitten, two familiar faces from the barn of Mechanicville, N.Y. native Chad Brown, head the respective fields for the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose and the Lure, two $100,000 turf races on the Grade 1 Whitney undercard Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.


Now 5, Dayatthespa is a perfect 3-for-3 on Saratoga's turf, having broken her maiden there in August 2011, taking the Riskaverse the following year and posting a 1 ¼-length win in last year's Yaddo facing New York-breds. The City Zip mare also owns victories in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup and Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland Race Course and in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream Park, all in 2012.


The one-mile De La Rose will be Dayatthespa's first start of the year, having closed out 2013 with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Matriarch, beaten a length on December 1.


With Javier Castellano aboard, Dayatthespa, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, will leave

from post position 8.


Also expected to attract support is Dayatthespa's stablemate, Pianist, also making her 2014 debut. The 5-year-old daughter of More Than Ready has compiled an admirable record at the Spa - with a record of 1-2-1 in four starts - including an allowance victory at the De La Rose distance in 2012. In her most recent appearance at the Spa, Pianist was a neck behind Laughing in the 2013 edition of the Grade 2 Ballston Spa.


At 3-1 on the morning line, she will be ridden by Jose Ortiz from post position 7.


Hall of Famer Bill Mott will be represented by French import Filimbi, who was second in her American debut in April at Keeneland Race Course and a winner next time out in a one-mile optional claimer at Belmont Park. The Mizzen Mast filly was no worse than third in seven starts in France last year at age 3, including the Prix Isola Bella Stakes at Chantilly, an allowance at Saint-Cloud and a maiden at Deauville.


Joel Rosario rides Filimbi, 4-1 on the morning line, from post position 9.


Also entered are the Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Silsita (15-1) and Alaura Michele (8-1); the Graham Motion-trained Joy (6-1), winner of the Perfect Sting at Belmont last time out; Ready Signal (12-1), Baffle Me (15-1), and Interesting (30-1).


Dual Grade 1 winner Big Blue Kitten will make his first start of the year in the Lure, in which he will be ridden by Joe Bravo. A solid 9-3-4 from 19 career starts, the Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred won last year's Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational and the Grade 2 Hall of Fame Stakes in 2011 in his two appearances at the Spa.


Big Blue Kitten is favored at 5-2 on the morning line over Kharafa, who was listed at 9-2 after coming off a second-place finish as the favorite in the one-mile Forbidden Apple Stakes on July 4 at Belmont. Trained by Timothy Hills, the New York-bred Kharafa won the restricted Kingston Stakes in his lone victory in four starts this year. He will be ridden by Javier Castellano.


Rounding out the field are Swift Warrior (10-1), Edge of Reality (20-1), Legendary (8-1), Plainview (5-1), Paris Vegas (12-1), Villandry (6-1), Bio Pro (12-1), Front (20-1), and Rogue Romance (20-1). Alpha, Integrity and Dawly were entered but will run only if the race comes of the turf.




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