Saratoga Day 16, 8/6
Class of 2012 Hall of Famers John Velazquez and Roger Attfield teamed up a few days before their induction to win the $100,000 Waya on Monday with 4-year-old filly Kissable.
The race for fillies and mares 3 and older ran over 1 1/2 miles of a yielding inner turf, which means sending the field of 10 horses twice over much of the same ground. Velazquez got Kissable wide enough down the stretch to avoid the torn-up turf in the innermost lanes, riding her to a four-length victory over favored Starformer.
“I saved the best ground I could in the first two turns,” he said. “Once we got to the backstretch and everybody moved out, I said I'm going to go for the best ground. We already ran twice over that ground, it was really cut up. When I pulled her out, she was on better ground where she felt more comfortable, and that was the key, right there.
“When she got her feet underneath of her and got back into the bridle, I said, you know what, I'm going to keep it here. Because as soon I dropped in at the three-eighth pole heading to the quarter pole, you could see she's struggling a little bit with the loose ground. I pulled her out in the stretch again, and she felt much better. So I kept her in the middle of the track. It was much better ground there.”