08/06/2012 5:29PM

Saratoga: Kissable powers home in Waya victory

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Tom Keyser
John Velazquez guides Kissable to victory in the Waya Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It was a terrific start to what will most certainly be a memorable week for jockey John Velazquez and trainer Roger Attfield.

Despite a wide trip, Velazquez guided the Attfield-trained Kissable to a four-length victory in Monday's $100,000 Waya Stakes over a yielding inner turf course at Saratoga.

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On Friday, both Velazquez and Attfield will be formally inducted into Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame across the street from the track.

Attfield was in London on Monday, where he watched his girlfriend, Tina Konyot, compete in the Olympics for the U.S. Dressage Team.

"What a great guy, a great person to be around and what a great trainer as well," Velazquez said. "It's well deserved. I'm glad to be part of it. He's been great to me for a long time now. He's given me a lot of good chances on his horses."

Velazquez kept Kissable wide because he thought that part of the course offered better footing. The turf had become yielding because of heavy rain Sunday night.

Velazquez had Kissable in eighth early on and three wide. He advanced her four wide entering the far turn, was able to move in one path as he approached pace factors Bizzy Caroline and Starformer - the 5-2 favorite - at the top of the stretch, then blew past those two inside the final furlong.

Starformer, the 123-pound highweight under Edgar Prado, held second by one-length over Bizzy Caroline.

Kissable, a 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Danehill Dancer, covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:32.52 and returned $10.40 as the second choice.

"When I pulled her out she was on better ground where she felt more comfortable, and that was the key right there," Velazquez said.

"Once she got her feet underneath her and she got back into the bridle, I said I'm going to keep her here."

Robert Clay's Three Chimneys Racing and Trevor Harris purchased Kissable from Lady O'Reilly and trainer Kevin Prendergast earlier this year. In her first start for her new connections, Kissable finished fifth in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine.

"I think she was really just sort of settling in," Clay said. "She didn't ship all that well, she was a little unsettled. . . . I think she's just now sort of figuring out our style of racing over here."

Clay said Kissable would be shipped back to Canada on Tuesday with future plans to be determined.