A return to 1 1/2 miles should suit Danza Cavallo as she goes in search of her first win in the U.S. in Saturday’s $200,000 Waya (G3) at Saratoga. The turf stakes for fillies and mares has seen its purse doubled after attaining Grade 3 status for the first time this year.
Only a minor stakes winner in Vichy, France, last summer prior to her importation, Danza Cavallo was nonetheless sent away as the 8-5 favorite in the November 8 Long Island H. (G3) at Aqueduct in her U.S. debut. Up one length with a furlong to go, she ultimately yielded to Aigue Marine by a neck.
The four-year-old returned to action at Keeneland in April, winning a 1 1/16-mile allowance, but lost as a stakes favorite for a second time in the May 25 Gamely (G1) at Santa Anita in her most recent start. She finished fifth to Hard Not to Like, who came back to win the Diana (G1) at Saratoga, while Gamely runner-up Fanticola came back to win the Royal Heroine (G2) at Santa Anita.
Kitten’s Point has won twice in stakes company this term, the most important being the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland over 12 furlongs. Part of a favored entry at even-money in the Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) at Delaware Park last time, the Graham Motion change missed by three parts of a length while giving the winner six pounds.
Chad Brown, who trains Danza Cavallo, has also entered Goldy Espony, wire-to-wire winner of the $100,000 River Memories at Belmont over this distance, while Motion will also be represented by Eastern Belle, a close runner-up in the New York (G2) and $57,000 Keertana in her last two efforts.
Other notables in the Waya lineup include 2014 Waya heroine Cat’s Claw, who has finished up the track in two outings this year, and Dick Memorial runner-up Queen’s Parade.
Turf fillies and mares will also line up in the $100,000 De La Rose, a one-mile event on the inner course restricted to horses that have not won a graded stakes this year. The wide-open event features the speedy Daring Kathy, a winner in five of her last seven stakes appearances, including the $100,000 Perfect Sting at Belmont in her debut for Chad Brown.
Christophe Clement, meanwhile, drops Stellar Path in class. The Group 3 winner, who took her U.S. debut in the $95,000 Plenty of Grace at Aqueduct in April, exits a fourth in the Nassau (G2) and a third in Eatontown (G3). Also taking the plunge from graded company is multiple Group 3 veteran J Wonder, fourth in the Beaugay (G3) and seventh in the Just a Game (G1) in her last two.
Ticking Katie looks to make it two straight following a Belmont allowance win over yielding ground in her U.S. debut. Token of Love also exits a Belmont allowance victory, where she erased a 13-length deficit to win by more than two lengths going seven furlongs.
Grade 3 scorer Nellie Cashman, who took the $100,000 Dahlia at Pimlico in April, seeks to halt a two-race losing streak, while A Little Bit Sassy and Miss Frost have both thrived over the Saratoga turf last season.
The $100,000 Lure, which is also restricted to horses that have not won a graded stakes this year, attracted only six older males to go 1 1/16 miles. The three that might attract the most wagering support are Vyjack, who placed in the Poker (G3) and $150,000 Forbidden Apple at Belmont in his last two; Grade 3 turf winner Reload, fourth as the favorite in the Forbidden Apple; and Fixador, a multiple Group 1 winner in Brazil who ran a close second in the December 27 W.L. McKnight (G3) at Gulfstream at odds of 47-1 in his most recent outing in December.