08/04/2012 3:10PM

Saratoga: Soon to be Hall of Famers team up in Waya Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Starformer got loose on the lead to win the Robert Dick Memorial at Delaware and will try to do the same in the Waya Monday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – On Friday, trainer Roger Attfield and jockey John Velazquez will be forever linked as they are formally inducted into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame. Monday, they hope to be forever linked as the winning connections of the $100,000 Waya Stakes at Saratoga.

Attfield has tabbed Velazquez to ride the Irish-bred Kissable in the Waya, a stakes for fillies and mares scheduled for 1 1/2 miles over the inner turf course. The Waya drew a full field of 12 led by Starformer, Bubbly Jane, and Sikara, the top three finishers from the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial at Delaware Park on July 14.

Kissable, a daughter of Danehill, ships down from Canada off a mediocre fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine on July 8. It was the first start for Kissable in North America. She had made her previous nine starts in Ireland under the tutelage of trainer Kevin Prendergast.

“I think it was probably a little short for her and I agree with you the race was just okay,” Attfield said by phone from London, where he was watching his girlfriend Tina Konyot compete in the Olympics for the U.S. Dressage Team. “I thought she’d move on quite a bit from the race and training-wise she did. She’s more aggressive in her training than she was.”

The Dance Smartly was run at 1 1/8 miles and the Waya is at 1 1/2 miles, a distance at which Kissable finished second in a listed stakes at the Curragh last October to Sapphire, who came back to win another listed race. Not quick away from the gate, a presumably slower pace scenario in the Waya should benefit Kissable.

In the Robert Dick Memorial, Starformer got loose on the lead through fractions of 50.56 seconds, 1:15.90 and a mile in 1:40.10 which was why she was able to win the race by three lengths at equal weights. Monday, Starformer is the 123-pound highweight, conceding 3 to 15 pounds to the field, while breaking from post  12.

Bubbly Jane came with a late rally to get up for second at Delaware. Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Bubbly Jane, hopes the added ground “will be beneficial for us; just hope for an honest pace.”

Sikara made an early move in the Robert G. Dick which may have cost her second.

“I thought my filly ran well,” trainer Graham Motion said. “I’m not sure she needs to go a mile and a half but this is the next logical spot for her.”

Bizzy Caroline, winner of the Grade 3 Mint Julep at 1 1/16 miles in June, Naples Bay and Pinch Pie are others in with a chance.