SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Co-owners Michael Dubb and Bethlehem Stable hit the exacta when Classic Lady withstood War Canoe in the stretch to win Wednesday’s $85,000 Dayatthespa Stakes at Saratoga.
Classic Lady broke from post 4 under Joel Rosario as the even-money favorite in the field of six New York-bred fillies and mares.
She settled into second and saved ground while Vortex Road strode off to a lengthy early lead, posting tepid opening fractions of :25.90, :51.59, and 1:15.33.
Despite getting away with setting a slow pace, Vortex Road was unable to hold off Classic Lady and War Canoe, who collared and soon surpassed the leader halfway home.
War Canoe raced step-for-step with Classic Lady at the onset, but the bettors’ choice dug in gamely along the inside of her rival and surged ahead in the final stages for the win.
Classic Lady (trained by Christophe Clement) necked out War Canoe (Chad Brown) in a final time of 1:44.36 for the 1 1/16-mile firm inner turf route.
“It was a perfect trip,” Rosario said. “She looked like she was there for me nicely, and I just waited for the right time to start going forward. She was very comfortable and happy where she was, and I was just following the horse on the lead waiting, for the time when she was ready to go on.”
Wegetsdamunnys was a few steps slow from the gate but rallied in the stretch to take third by a head and a neck over Vortex Road and Niko’s Dream, respectively. Wish Upon completed the order of finish.
Love and Love was a Main Track Only entry.
Classic Lady’s win was her first at the stakes level and her first since her current owners claimed her for $62,500 out of her November 11 victory at Aqueduct. The 5-year-old Jimmy Creed mare improved her overall record to 17-4-5-3 with $252,290 earned throughout her career.
“It’s great – she’s a stakes winner,” Clement said. “She’s run twice for us and run well twice. It’s exciting. We’ve got more races coming up. The big question is going to be whether she wants to go a mile and 1/8 or not, but we don’t have to decide that now.”
Classic Lady returned $4.10 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. War Canoe brought back $3 to place and $2.30 to show, while Wegetsdamunnys paid $2.80 to show.