08/16/2013 2:04PM

Saratoga: Dayatthespa rallies to win Yaddo Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dayatthespa, winning Friday's Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga, will compete in graded stakes the rest of the year, trainer Chad Brown said.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — It’s nice when a trainer can use a $150,000 stakes race not only as a prep for bigger and better things, but also to teach his horse a thing or two along the way. Such was the case Friday at Saratoga, where trainer Chad Brown sent out his Grade 1 winner Dayatthespa to a comfortable 1 3/4-length decision over Wholelottashakin in the Yaddo Stakes.

Dayatthespa, who scratched from the Grade 1 Diana earlier in the meet to await the Yaddo, rated off the early pace of Sally’s Dream, as Brown had instructed jockey Javier Castellano. Dayatthespa readily overtook the leader approaching the stretch, quickly drew clear, and was not seriously threatened thereafter.

Wholelottashakin raced forwardly and outfinished Inimitable Romance by a half-length to finish second in the turf stakes restricted to New York-bred fillies and mares.

Dayatthespa, who registered a similarly easy win over statebreds earlier this year at Belmont Park, paid $2.50.

“We had a lot of problems in the Matriarch last fall, and I wasn’t even sure she was going to run again,” Brown said. “She came back, she ran great in New York-bred company at Belmont, she got beat at Monmouth [in the Grade 3 Eatontown], and I just felt I needed to get her back on track and run her in an easier race. This served a purpose, and you’re going to see her in graded stakes the rest of the year.”

Brown said he was hoping to be able to give Dayatthespa an opportunity to learn to rate off the pace in the Yaddo.   

“Javier and I spoke about if we were going to teach her to rate, we’d rather do it against some easier competition,” Brown said. “So we used the race as a bit of a training exercise because she’s going to have to run against much tougher horses in the fall. The other horse went out, gave us a target. Javier rated her on the outside, experimented with her a little bit, and all in all I thought it worked out perfectly.”