Coastana strives for first graded stakes win in G3 Fasig-Tipton Waya
by Ryan Martin
Following a strong display in her graded stakes debut, Belladonna Racing’s Coastana will pursue a meaningful win against quality company in Sunday’s 19th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Waya at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.
Coastana, trained by Cherie DeVaux, enters the 1 3/8-mile turf marathon for fillies and mares 3-years-old and upward off an even third in the Grade 2 Flower Bowl on September 3 at Saratoga Race Course, where she completed the trifecta at 33-1 odds. The 5-year-old dark bay daughter of Kitten’s Joy tracked a close second to a leisurely pace set by upset winner Virginia Joy and had dead aim on the leader around the far turn, but flattened out in deep stretch while being passed by War Like Goddess to be defeated 1 1/2 lengths.
A two-time winner during her 4-year-old campaign, Coastana broke her maiden at third asking last April going nine furlongs over the Keeneland lawn, defeating eventual multiple stakes winner Flippant. She finished second in her first start against winners, where she lost to next out Grade 1-placed Higher Truth, but secured victory in her following start when stretching out to the Waya distance in a Saratoga inner turf allowance last August.
Bred in Kentucky by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Coastana is out of the Pulpit mare Reachfortheheavens, making her a full sister to dual Grade 1-winning millionaire Real Solution.
“With her being a full sister to Real Solution, it’s in her pedigree,” DeVaux said of her distance capabilities. “She’s been unlucky throughout her career – with soundness issues or getting sick – to not have a better resume. But she’s in good form now so we’re trying to take advantage of it.”
DeVaux had worked with Real Solution when an assistant under trainer Chad Brown.
“She looks just like him,” DeVaux said. “A smaller version of him, but they have the same markings and they’re both pretty high energy. They’re tough in a good way.”
Jose Lezcano, the pilot aboard Coastana in the Flower Bowl, will retain the mount from post 6.
Four-time Eclipse Award winner Chad Brown will saddle Capital Structure [post 1, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] and Rocky Sky [post 8, Manny Franco] in pursuit of his fourth straight, and sixth overall, victory in the Waya.
Klaravich Stables’ Capital Structure will attempt her first graded stakes victory, entering off a sixth-place finish in the All Along on September 10 at Pimlico Race Course, where her saddle slipped during the running of the race.
“That was unfortunate, so we'll draw a line through it,” Brown said.
The 5-year-old Lope de Vega chestnut mare displayed a strong outside kick two starts back in an 11-furlong allowance optional claimer on the Saratoga inner turf, advancing from seventh-of-8 at the one mile point of call to win by two lengths.
“We finally stretched her out in distance, and she was able to put it all together,” Brown said. “She's a horse we've always liked, and she's never been able to get on track and turn into a stake horse, but we'll give her another chance here. I think [she wants to go long].”
Rocky Sky, by Rock of Gibraltar, is still in search of her first triumph in North America for owner Peter Brant – who campaigned the race’s Hall of Fame and 1979 Champion Older Filly namesake. She enters off a pair of allowance level runner-up efforts at the Spa, most recently finishing 3 1/4 lengths in arrears of next out graded stakes placed Beside Herself when going 12 furlongs.
John Halley and Ciara Hogan’s Flirting Bridge will attempt to keep a pattern of consistency afloat for trainer Brendan Walsh. The 4-year-old daughter of Camelot captured her North American debut, also her first start for Walsh, in a 1 1/16-mile first level allowance on May 29 at Churchill Downs coming from last-to-first to win by 5 1/4 lengths over next-out winners Flown and Fairchild.
Previously trained in her native Ireland by Henry De Bromhead, Flirting Bridge earned black type in her last two efforts when second as the favorite in the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial on July 12 at Parx and a close third in the Grade 2 Canadian on August 21 at Woodbine.
Breaking from post 2, Flirting Bridge will be ridden by Flavien Prat.
Joseph Allen’s homebred Flying Fortress will make her stakes debut after displaying newfound frontrunning dimensions in her last out winning effort for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. The daughter of Uncle Mo, and full-sister to graded stakes winner Enola Gay, won wire-to-wire going nine furlongs over the Colonial Downs turf last out on August 30. Two starts back in April, she made up 10 lengths to best first level allowance company at Laurel Park going one mile.
Joel Rosario will ride Flying Fortress from post 5.
Completing the field are Gladys [post 3, Luis Saez], Lovely Lucky [post 4, Dylan Davis], and Tass [post 7, Javier Castellano].
The Waya honors Peter Brant and George Strawbridge, Jr.'s Champion Turf Mare, who was a four-time Grade 1 winner in the United States. Waya distinguished herself as a quality performer in her native France before moving to the United States, where she won five graded stakes, including the Grade 1 Man o’ War in 1978 against males. She was voted Champion Older Mare the following year, which was highlighted by Grade 1 victories in the Santa Barbara at Santa Anita, the Top Fight at Aqueduct and the Beldame at Belmont.
The Waya is carded as Race 7 on Sunday’s 10-race program, which also features a pair of Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” events – the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette [Juvenile Fillies] and the Grade 2, $200,000 Pilgrim [Juvenile Turf]. First post is 1 p.m. Eastern.
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