08/14/2013 3:22PM

Saratoga: Dayatthespa stands out in Yaddo Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Grade 1 winner Dayatthespa will face five fellow New York-breds in Friday's $150,000 Yaddo Stakes.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – On paper, Dayatthespa looked like a major contender in the Diana Stakes here three weeks ago. But on the track, Dayatthespa looked like she wasn’t ready for the effort needed to compete in a Grade 1 race, according to trainer Chad Brown.

So, Brown scratched Dayatthespa from the Diana and lowered his sights – at least for the time being – by entering her in Friday’s $150,000 Yaddo Stakes, which is restricted to New York-bred fillies and mares, at Saratoga.

Now, on paper, Dayatthespa, a Grade 1 winner, looks like a standout in the Yaddo, scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course. Dayatthespa will break from post 4 under Javier Castellano.

Dayatthespa, a winner of 7 of 11 starts, is coming off a second-place finish as the 2-5 favorite in the Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park on June 29. The horse who beat her, Laughing, came back to win the Grade 1 Diana while Dayatthespa stayed in the barn.

“I thought she needed a little bit more time after that Monmouth race,” Brown said. “She got pretty tired right before the wire. She seems to have bounced out of it pretty well now. I thought her last work was pretty sharp. Her energy level is back to where I’m comfortable.”

Dayatthespa, who might have been the controlling speed in the Diana, looks like the primary speed in the Yaddo. She is 2 for 2 at Saratoga, including a debut win at 2 in 2011 and a victory in the Riskaverse Stakes last Aug. 31, which was part of a five-race winning streak.

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Despite his filly’s significant class edge, Brown is not taking anything for granted.

“It’s not a walkover; I don’t care what her odds are,” Brown said. “There are a couple of fillies in there that can run. She needs to show up and run well.”

One of the fillies who can run is the Brown-trained Shakeira, who had won three consecutive races before encountering trouble when finishing sixth in the On the Bus Stakes here on opening day.

“Shakeira had a rough trip opening day,” Brown said. “She seems to have come out of that race better than I thought. She had such a rough trip, I was skeptical how she came out of the race.”

Inimitable Romanee, second to Hessonite in the On the Bus Stakes, is another starter who has a chance. She came within a neck of Shakeira in the Mt. Vernon Stakes at Belmont on June 1.

Sally’s Dream, a winner of two straight, Wholelottashakin, and Love Stanza Chance complete the field.

The Yaddo will be run as the third race on Friday’s 10-race program.

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