08/06/2016 6:31PM

Guapaza's win in Waya helps build a great day for Chad Brown

Email
Debbie Roma
Guapaza wins the Waya Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. _ So great is trainer Chad Brown's embarrassment of riches in the turf female ranks, it seems the only one who can beat him is himself.

On Saturday afternoon, Guapaza got away from her stellar stablemates _ most of them, anyway _ to grab the spotlight with a head victory over Suffused in the Grade 3, $200,000 Waya Stakes at Saratoga. Another Brown trainee, Grade 1 winner Ball Dancing, was fourth.

This was Guapaza's fifth start in the United States for the Heller family’s Don Alberto, an industry leader in Chile and has made major forays into Kentucky bloodstock and American racing in recent years.

The Seeking the Dia mare, a multiple Group 2 winner in her native Chile, began her American campaign by finishing third in the Grade 3 The Very One, beaten less than a length by Brown-trained stablemates Olorda and Dacita. She was then second in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay, won by another Brown trainee in Sea Calisi; and third to Dacita and Sea Calisi in the Grade 2 New York.

Looking to shake things up, Brown then stretched Guapaza out to 1 1/2 miles – the distance of the Waya - for the River Memories Stakes last month at Belmont Park. She broke through with a win to set her up for Saratoga.

“She's really settled down, she was a little high-strung when we got her,” Brown said. “She held some tough company early on when I was putting her in races with some of my other horses that are Group 1 horses. I think this filly's a Group 1 horse eventually in her own right. We thought we'd try to reinvent her a little bit to get her away from that class of horse, because she was just coming up a little short earlier in the year, so we tried farther, longer distances where she could be the boss.”

With Grade 1 winners Photo Call and Ball Dancing showing the early way in the Waya, Guapaza ($9), sent away as the lukewarm favorite, sat in fourth under Javier Castellano after the first mile. Castellano swung her four wide into the stretch as the field began to engulf those leaders, and Guapaza prevailed in a gritty stretch drive, striking the lead late and then holding off Suffused by a head. The final time on the inner turf was 2:25.96.

After Suffused, it was 1 1/2 lengths back to Achnaha, with Ball Dancing holding fourth

Guapaza was one of four winners on the Saturday card for Brown, who has won seven races, topped by three stakes, in the last four days. He also won Friday’s Grade 2 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes with Camelot Kitten and Saturday’s Lure Stakes with Shining Copper, and now has seven stakes wins at the Saratoga meet.

“You try to set a plan up and hope for good weather and racing luck and so many things to go your way,” Brown said. “This stretch here, a lot of things have gone our way.”

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Get handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.