08/03/2013 3:15PM

Saratoga: Beijoca seeks to deliver tribute to Elaine Klein by winning Waya

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Jim Baker hopes Beijoca can win the Waya in memory of Elaine Klein, her owner who died last week.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Monday’s $100,000 Waya Stakes at Saratoga will have extra special meaning for Jim Baker, trainer of contender Beijoca.

Baker trains Beijoca for the Klein family, which last week lost one of its members when Elaine Klein, who owned horses with her husband Bertram and son Richard, died Wednesday. Her funeral was scheduled for Sunday.

“Hopefully, this will be like a memorial thing,” said Baker, who has trained for the Kleins on and off since the 1980s. “She loved traveling to watch the horses run.”

Beijoca is more than just a sentimental choice in what looks to be a wide-open renewal of the Waya, scheduled for 1 1/2 miles over the inner turf course.

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Beijoca, a daughter of Dynaformer, is 2 for 2 at 1 1/2 miles, including a second-level allowance win at Keeneland on April 10. After that she finished fourth in the Keertana at Churchill. Following a seven-week layoff, Beijoca finished fifth in the Ellis Park Turf at 1 1/16 miles on July 6.

“It just wasn’t far enough,” Baker said. “We were hoping for a lightning fast pace and didn’t get it. It was a quick pace, but sometimes at Ellis you get a really fast pace and we kind of used that as a sharpener for here so we didn’t have to train her as hard. She’s had two breezes since then. Both of them went well. She’s coming into it the right way. Hopefully, she relishes the racetrack here.”

Shaun Bridgmohan, who was scheduled to attend Elaine Klein’s funeral Sunday, will be back to ride Beijoca on Monday from post 5.

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

Mystical Star won the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont 13 months ago but is winless in seven starts – all graded stakes – since. She comes off a fifth-place finish in this year’s New York, a race in which she set a pressured pace before fading to fifth, 2 1/2 lengths behind Starformer.

“She was not alone on the lead. She’d have relaxed better if she was alone on the lead,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “She got beat in the last race, the New York, but this race might be a bit easier than the New York.”

Jose Lezcano rides Mystical Star from post 6.

Clement also sends out Team, who gets her first opportunity at 1 1/2 miles.

Qushchi has lost 16 straight races, but has finished second or third in all four of her starts in the United States and for trainer Graham Motion. She was beaten a head by Treasured Up in the Keertana. Treasured Up came back to win the off-the-turf Robert G. Dick Memorial.

Kissable, who won last year’s Waya at 4-1, returns in search of her first win since that race. She has competed in four consecutive graded stakes, most recently finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Bewitch at Keeneland in April.

Angel Terrace, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, and Anjaz, second in the Sheepshead Bay two back, complete the field.

Holiday Soiree debuts for Pletcher

Holiday Soiree, purchased for $370,000 out of the Fasig-Tipton horses of racing age sale on July  15, will make her first start for new connections in Monday’s $100,000 Shine Again Stakes at six furlongs.

Holiday Soiree, who finished third in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff in May, was purchased by John Greathouse’s Glencrest Farm and turned over to trainer Todd Pletcher. On Tuesday, Holiday Soiree worked a bullet half-mile in 48.40 seconds over the main track.

“She actually breezed really well, has done everything right since she came in,” Pletcher said. “Very professional and straight forward.”

Apropos, second as the favorite in the Roxelana Stakes, goes out for trainer Al Stall, who has had a solid start to the meet with 3 wins from 7 starts. She breaks from the rail.