Wavell Avenue (Harlington) wins The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Joel Rasario up, Chad Brown trainer, Michael Dubb, David Simon, Head of Plains and Bethlehem Stb. owners.
Wavell Avenue, winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, goes in search of her first victory of the year on Wednesday when she faces a contentious field of eight other filly and mare sprinters in the $ 100,000 Shine Again at Saratoga Race Course.
Off the board just twice in nine starts in 2015, including a fourth-place finish to Unbridled Forever in the Shine Again, Wavell Avenue opened her 5-year-old campaign with a late-charging third behind Sheer Drama and Stopchargingmaria in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland. Sent off as the favorite in her next two starts, the dark bay daughter of Harlington next was fourth in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs and second to By the Moon in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses Handicap at Belmont Park.
“She’s training really well, we’re looking forward to running her in this spot,” said trainer Chad Brown. “Her last race she really had to go wide but she’s come back a little stronger. Ultimately, our goal is for the [Grade 1] Ballerina [August 27] but we’ll see how she does here first.”
Joel Rosario will be aboard the Michael Dubb color-bearer when she leaves from post position 3 in the seven-furlong Shine Again.
Sharing high weight of 123 pounds with Wavell Avenue are stakes winners Promise Me Silver, who last year stretched her unbeaten streak to eight in the Grade 3 Eight Belles at Churchill, and Chilean import Linda Linda, making her North American debut following her Group 1 victory in the 1 ¼-mile Alberto Solari Magnasco in her native country.
Trained by Bret Calhoun, Promise Me Silver was off the board in three New York appearances following her win at Churchill Downs, finishing 10th in the Grade 1 Acorn, fifth in the Grade 3 Victory Ride – both at Belmont Park – and 10th in the Grade 2 Prioress at the Spa.
She returned to action this spring following an eight-month layoff to win an allowance at Louisiana Downs and most recently add the Valor Farm for Texas-breds on July 9 at Lone Star Prk to her list of stakes victories.
Luis Saez has the mount from post position 4.
Linda Linda, a daughter of Bluegrass Cat, compiled a 4-2-1 record from seven starts in 2015 in Chile, winning at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 ¼ miles. Now in the care of trainer Ignacio Correas, she has been training steadily at Keeneland for her first start as a 4-year-old, most recently covering seven furlongs in 1:30.03 on July 26.
She will leave from post position 2 with Paco Lopez in the irons.
Representing Hall of Famer Bill Mott will be Carolyn Wilson’s homebred Theophilia, who is making her 4-year-old and stakes debut. Winless in two starts in 2014, the Flatter filly returned last summer to win three of four, including her maiden win at the Spa at the Shine Again distance.
After a winter off, she returned to training in June at Saratoga, most recently breezing four furlongs in 49.48 seconds on July 27.
Jose Lezcano rides from post position 6.
Completing the field are Shayjolie, who won the Cat Cay in March at Aqueduct; West Coast Chick from Hall of Famer Nick Zito; Momameamaria, front-running winner of an optional claimer at Belmont last time out; the stakes-winning Sweet On Smokey, making her 30th career start; and My Savannah Belle, shortening up after finishing second in a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer in May at Belmont.
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