08/29/2012 2:58PM

Saratoga: Dayatthespa tries to fire fresh in Riskaverse

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dayatthespa is looking for her fourth straight win this year in the Riskaverse.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Dayatthespa will be more than just a hunch play for those who attend Friday’s “Party at the Park” card at Saratoga.

Dayatthespa, a multiple-graded stakes-winning New York-bred filly, looks to restart what had been a promising 3-year-old campaign when she takes on a full field in the $100,000 Riskaverse, a one-mile turf race and the featured event on a Friday card that begins at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

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Dayatthespa, who won her career debut at Saratoga last August, is 4 for 6 in her career. She has won all three of her starts this year, including the Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream in March and the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland in April – both Grade 3 events – before having to go to the sidelines with soreness in her hind end, according to trainer Chad Brown.

“It wouldn’t resolve itself unless I gave her a proper break,” Brown said. “She stayed in my barn, but we completely backed off on her to make sure she was 100 percent. She responded really well, she freshened up nicely, has been training steadily all meet at Saratoga.”

The only bad race on Dayatthespa’s form came in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, which was run over less-than-firm footing.

“She has done nothing wrong since that race,” Brown said. “Hopefully this ground will firm up. It should. This filly’s training awfully well. I expect her to run well despite the layoff.”

Alaura Michele returned off a near 10-month layoff to win the Nani Rose for Bill Mott on his 59th birthday, July 29. She is 2 for 2 at Saratoga, having won the P.G. Johnson Stakes exactly one year ago. Her layoff from last year’s Miss Grillo to last month’s Nani Rose was precipitated by issues she incurred coming out of the Miss Grillo, which had been run on a boggy Belmont turf course.

“We liked this filly an awful lot last year and then I guess she hit the soggy ground and didn’t run well,” Mott said. “She had some baby issue. She needed time off for all at the same time, so we just decided to stop. The other day I thought that was a reasonably good field that she beat. I wasn’t so sure without a race under her belt she could beat them, but she kind of rolled right on by them.”

Peace Preserver was beaten a half-length as the favorite in the Desert Vixen Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 28, a day in which she was a bit headstrong under Elvis Trujillo. She made the lead in deep stretch, but was run down by Senator Beck. Prior to that, she settled nicely to win a first-level allowance race by a neck under Joe Bravo. The last two races have come since Todd Pletcher removed the blinkers from her equipment.

“Hopefully there’s enough pace in here where she’ll settle,” Pletcher said. “She seems better with the blinkers off and hopefully in a truly run race with an honest pace she’ll settle again.”

Sweet and Lovely, who set the pace before finishing second in the Nani Rose, and Assateague, a front-running winner of a first-level allowance race here on July 28, appear to be the primary speed. Resonating, stretching out in distance and trying turf for the first time, could also show speed.