11/01/2014 4:45PM

Dayatthespa all the way in BC Filly and Mare Turf

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Tom Keyser
Dayatthespa, with Javier Castellano aboard, wires the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – At any distance and on almost every surface, speed is dangerous.

Dayatthespa proved it again Saturday at Santa Anita in a race that might have been the final start of her career. For sure, the 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf was the longest of her career. And Dayatthespa stole it.

She stole it using clever prerace strategy designed by trainer Chad Brown and executed perfectly by jockey Javier Castellano. Everyone knew Dayatthespa would set the pace. But she was untested beyond 1 1/8 miles, and Brown instructed Castellano to “not move” until the top of the stretch.

No problem. Dayatthespa set the pace and slowed it down while pressed from the outside by Parranda. Castellano waited until the head of the lane to ask Dayatthespa for run, and she responded.

Dayatthespa cut loose, opened up, and was never in danger. She won by 1 1/4 lengths in 2:00.12 over a turf course labeled “good.” Just The Judge finished third, a head in front of Dank, the 2013 Filly and Mare Turf winner whose 2014 form was well below par.

“I thought she could get the distance if we could get away with a slow pace,” Castellano said. “I was hoping we could go 24, 48, 1:13, and that’s exactly what we did. When we got three-quarters in 1:13, I thought to myself, ‘We’re going to steal this thing,’ and we did.”

The posted fractions were 23.89 seconds, 48.37, and 1:13.12.

For most of her career, Dayatthespa had a reputation as a miler. The longest races she tried were at 1 1/8 miles. She won both. Still, the daughter of City Zip, a multiple Grade 1 winner, was unknown at the classic distance.

Brown was aware of the challenge and instructed Castellano to not open up on the field. He told Castellano to make the lead, slow it down, sit still, and when the field came to her on the far turn, stay still and wait some more.

Done. Dayatthespa cut loose into the lane and was gone. It was her 11th win from 18 starts for owners Ronald Frankel, Jerry Frankel, Steve Laymon, and Pete Bradley. Dayatthespa, the second New York-bred to win a Breeders’ Cup race, is entered in the Fasig-Tipton November sale on Monday.

Stephanie’s Kitten also is entered in the Fasig-Tipton sale, and an argument could be made that she ran as well as the winner. Stephanie’s Kitten lost ground while rallying wide from off the pace and was second-best.

Just The Judge, wheeling back on short rest after winning the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor on Oct. 19 at Woodbine, finished third. Dank finished fourth.

The fifth- through 11th-place finishers were Secret Gesture, Parranda, Abaco, Fiesloana, Emollient, Rusty Slipper, and Irish Mission.

The win was Brown’s second of Breeders’ Cup weekend. He won the Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday with Lady Eli. It was the fourth Breeders’ Cup win for Brown and Castellano.