08/03/2016 5:10PM

Wavell Avenue snaps 2016 winless streak in Shine Again

Barbara D. Livingston
Wavell Avenue, ridden by Joel Rosaro, wins the Shine Again Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The connections of Wavell Avenue are hoping that by taking a step back this summer it will help their 5-year-old mare take a leap forward in the fall.

The first part of the plan was executed perfectly as Wavell Avenue, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner, took advantage of a ground-saving trip and a fast pace to win Wednesday’s $100,000 Shine Again Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths at Saratoga.

Momameamaria, part of the early pace scenario, held second by five lengths ahead of the Chilean-bred Linda Linda.

The win, her seventh from 17 starts, was the first for Wavell Avenue since her 10-1 upset in the Breeders’ Cup last October.  She pushed her career earnings to $988,125. Her connections are hoping to get Wavell Avenue back to the Breeders’ Cup this fall at Santa Anita.

Wavell Avenue had gone winless in three starts this year. She was third in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland, fourth in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs, and second as the even-money favorite in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses at Belmont, where she raced wide throughout under Joel Rosario.

Wednesday, after breaking slowly, Wavell Avenue was last under Rosario, who opted to save all the ground by guiding the mare to the rail. West Coast Chick, under John Velazquez, ran an opening quarter-mile of 22.20 seconds while being chased by Momameamaria, Promise Me Silver, and Linda Linda.

Entering the far turn, it was just Momameamaria who pressed West Coast Chick through a half-mile in 44.86 seconds.

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Rosario, meanwhile, advanced Wavell Avenue into contention around the turn and turning for home there was plenty of room on the rail.

Rosario was able to get Wavell Avenue off the rail and into the clear and by the eighth pole there was only Momameamaria to catch. Wavell Avenue collared Momameamaria outside the sixteenth pole and edged clear for the win.

“When I passed the three-eighths pole I got to stay on the inside, I had room to go there, so I said let me get a little forward and hopefully don’t get stopped,” Rosario said. “She looked like she handled everything fine. Turning for home there were only two horses in front of me. I was rolling, she was moving very nice. She ran very nice from off the pace.”

Wavell Avenue, a daughter of Harlington owned by a partnership headed by Michael Dubb and trained by Chad Brown, covered the seven furlongs in 1:21.83 and returned $3 as the favorite.

“I think it was important to put a ‘W’ on the board,” Brown said. “The only race she hasn’t run well in was at Churchill. Her number at Keeneland was very good, she was tons the best last time with a troubled trip, and she won today. But, yes just for her confidence, to cross the line first and use this as a springboard moving forward is important.”

Brown said Wavell Avenue would be pointed to the Grade 1 Ballerina here on Aug. 27.