ELMONT, N.Y. – Dayoutoftheoffice extended her unbeaten streak to three on Saturday at Belmont Park with a command performance in Saturday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies, a ‘Win and You’re In’ event for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
The race was a fitting encore to the day’s first Grade 1 event for juveniles, the one-mile Champagne, which was won impressively by the undefeated Jackie’s Warrior in 1:35.42. Contested just a little more than a half hour later on the fast main track at Belmont, Dayoutoftheoffice completed a mile in the Frizette in 1:35.82, a sparkling final time that could position her to be among the favorites in next month’s Juvenile Fillies.
Trained and co-owned by Tim Hamm with Siena Farm, the dark bay daughter of Into Mischief began her career with an easy win in a 4 ½-furlong dash on May 14 at Gulfstream Park. She made her next start in the Grade 3 Schuylerville at Saratoga Race Course and despite being sent off at 19-1 odds, she exploded to a six-length score in the six-furlong sprint. Having learned their lesson in the Schuylerville, the wagering public made her the second choice in the betting in the Frizette, with runaway Grade 1 Spinaway winner Vequist inheriting the role of odds-on favorite.
Breaking from post 5 under Junior Alvarado, who was aboard Dayoutoftheoffice for her breakthrough victory in the Schuylerville in July, the Siena Farms homebred took up position in second early as stretch-out sprinter Joy’s Rocket darted to the front to set the pace. With Vequist tucked in along the inside in third of a tightly packed bunch, Joy’s Rocket carved out splits of 22.94 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.41 for the half.
Joy’s Rocket’s early advantage evaporated in a hurry around the far turn, however, as Dayoutoftheoffice made what proved to be the winning move, quickly wresting control of the lead away from the frontrunner and putting daylight between her and the rest of the field as they turned for home through three-quarters in 1:10.98
Vequist, not willing to concede defeat, launched her rally and was in hot pursuit of Dayoutoftheoffice in upper stretch, even appearing at points as if she would overtake the leader, but her chase was ultimately in vain as Dayoutoftheoffice dug in doggedly in the final eighth of a mile and hit the wire first by two lengths.
“When you ride fast horses, it makes it easy for you,” said Alvarado. “I thought it [the pace] was going to be a little more contested and I was going to stalk but I felt like I was in control of the race from where I was. I knew I had the horse in front of me [measured], so I just made sure my filly got into a nice rhythm and at the same time keep everybody where I wanted them to be. It worked out great today. When I asked her turning for home, she responded beautifully.”
Just shy of 3-1, Dayoutoftheoffice returned $7.80 on a $2 win wager and bumped her bankroll over the $200,000 mark through three career starts, all of which have been spaced out by at least a couple months.
“She’s a big, scopey filly and I wanted to have some horse for the end of the year,” said Hamm, who earned the first Grade 1 win of his career in the Frizette. “The plan was to have a fresh horse for this time of the year. We wanted to just train her a little lightly and have her fresh for the fall run. Everything went according to plan.
“When you put a plan together that works – the team of Siena Farm and myself and all our assistants – you feel vindicated,” the veteran trainer added. “We all thought this filly was special when she won at 4 ½ [furlongs] because we knew she would be able to get longer than that. She was able to get the job done today.”
While no match for the winner, Vequist ran a valiant race in defeat and proved her 9 ½-length demolition of the Spinaway on September 6 at the Spa was no mirage. The dark bay daughter of Nyquist finished second, 10 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher Cilla.
“She broke pretty nice and I thought we were in a good spot,” said Luis Saez, rider of Vequist. “When we got to the three eighths, I started asking her a little and when we got to the stretch the winner took off.
“I wish we could have been outside [instead of inside post] so I could have pressed early, but that’s racing,” Saez added.
Joy’s Rocket, Cantata, and Get On the Bus completed the order of finish in the 71st running of the Frizette. Fifth Risk was scratched.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Belmont Park with a 10-race card highlighted by the 130th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Futurity, a six-furlong turf sprint offering a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 6 at Keeneland. It is one of two turf stakes for juveniles on the 10-race card, with the Grade 3, $100,000 Matron for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs also on the docket. First post is 12:50 p.m.
BELMONT Entries Sunday, October 11
Photo: Dayoutoftheoffice. Credit: NYRA/Joe Labozzetta