The $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf featured 11 older fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles on the turf. Defending champion Dank was sent off as the 2-1 favorite off a disappointing 5th place finish in the Prince of Wales's (G1) at Royal Ascot. In to challenge her included 9-2 second choice Stephanie's Kitten, winner of the Flower Bowl (G1) at Belmont, and 11-2 third choice Dayatthespa, winner of the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland.
Jockey Javier Castellano sent Dayatthespa to the lead down the hill and she set fractions of 23.89, 48.37, 1:13.12, and 1:36.96 over the good going while pressed by 27-1 Parranda and stalked by 7-1 Secret Gesture. Entering the stretch, Dayatthespa opened up a 2 length advantage over the tiring Parranda. Stephanie's Kitten, 8th early, put in a 5 wide rally into the lane but was left with too much ground to cover as Dayatthespa cruised to a 1 1/4 length win in 2:00.12. It was another 1/2 length back to Just the Judge third, and a head more to favorite Dank fourth.
Dayatthespa wins the Filly and Mare Turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
4 Dayatthespa Castellano 13.00 6.60 4.60
10 Stephanie's Kitten Velazquez 5.20 3.80
2 Just the Judge Spencer 4.60
Winning Time: 2:00.12
$1 Exacta 4-10 27.10
$1 Trifecta 4-10-2 182.80
$1 Superfecta 4-10-2-3 618.70
Left: Dayatthespa in the winner's circle. Co-owner Pete Bradley said, "This was a race all about pace. We have a filly that likes to be on or near the lead. She relaxes. And it was picture perfect. She ran her race against an exceptional group of fillies, put them to sleep on the front end, and took it home. I don't think that was hanging on, I think that was pulling away. She's scheduled to sell at Fasig Tipton on the 3rd."
Right: Dayatthespa returns after the race. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I thought she could get the distance if we could get away with a slow pace. I was hoping we could go 24, 48, 1:13, and that's exactly what we did. When we got the 3/4 in 1:13 I thought to myself, ‘We're going to steal this thing,' and we did."
The trophy celebration with trainer Chad Brown on the far left. Brown said, "(Jockey) Javier (Castellano) did an awesome job. He was able to set an easy pace." Co-owner Steve Laymon added, "I asked (Castellano) for one thing, I asked for 1:13 for 3/4, and we got it. He looked at me and said, 'Boss, you asked for it, you got it'. Her mother's full brother was a 1 1/4 mile horse, and it's kind of hidden in the pedigree. So we always wanted her to have her on go long, and we finally got that chance."
Second place finisher Stephanie's Kitten returns after the race. Trainer Chad Brown, who also trains the winner, said, "We knew that if (Dayatthespa) got a little tired (on the lead), Stephanie's Kitten would be coming, so we had it covered either way. I just wish there could be two winners. Both mares ran terrific." Jockey John Velazquez added, "I got a good trip. By the second turn, I put her into the race because they started to slow down in front. I let her get a little closer and thought I had a chance to win, but the leader kept going."
Right: Third place finisher Just the Judge heads over to the turf course. Jockey Jamie Spencer said, "She's run really well. I was much better being on the inside than trying to go on the outside but I'm pleased with her. Beautiful position and everything was going smoothly the first time around. Then the pace started steadying and they stacked up to the end of the back straight. It was going to be very hard to catch the leaders from there. She's not a leader, so there has to be some pace. She fought well in the home straight. You have to be really proud of her; she tried really hard the last couple months and shown good form."
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Dank returns after the race. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute said, "She's run a very game race. They didn't go fast enough in the middle part of the race for her. Ryan (Moore) was a little further back than he wanted to be and had to come wide, but she's tried as always."
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