Wavell Avenue too much for Shine Again rivals

Profile Picture: James Scully

August 3rd, 2016

Wavell Avenue dropped back into listed company and impressively recorded her first victory of 2016 in Wednesday’s $100,000 Shine Again at Saratoga, striding away to a 1 3/4-length decision. The 5-year-old mare overcame tighter quarters in upper stretch to offer a powerful closing kick beneath Joel Rosario.

Conditioned by Chad Brown, Wavell Avenue notched her first stakes tally when taking the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in late October, utilizing a stirring late run at Keeneland in her seasonal finale. The Ontario-bred daughter of Harlington returned this year with a third in the Madison (G1), a fourth in the Humana Distaff (G1) and a runner-up finish most recently in the June 25 Bed o’ Roses (G3) at Aqueduct.

Owned by Michael Dubb, Simon, Bethlehem Stables et al, Wavell Avenue was favored at 1-2 over seven rivals in the 7-furlong Shine Again and dropped to her customary positioning at the tail of the field during the early stages. West Coast Chick established opening splits in :22.20 & :44.86 before giving way to pace presser Momameamaria after turning for home.

Wavell Avenue advanced into contention along the inside on the far turn and was forced to alter course to the outside of foes with three-sixteenths of a mile remaining. Momameamaria proved game when challenged but ultimately was no match for her classy rival.

The winner stopped the teletimer in 1:21.83.

Momameamaria, who was off as the 22-1 seventh choice, easily held second, five lengths clear of third-placer Linda Linda. Shayjolie, West Coast Chick, Sweet on Smokey, Theophilia and Promise Me Silver came next under the wire.

Bred by Eugene Melynk, Wavell Avenue sold for $70,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale. She needed three starts to break her maiden, doing so for $40,000 tag in the fall of 2014. The dark bay started to come on for Brown last summer, recording her first stakes placing with a third in the Zadracarta at Woodbine, and earned a shot at the Breeders’ Cup with a fast-closing second to eventual champion female sprinter La Verdad in the Gallant Bloom (G2) in late September.

With Wednesday’s $60,000 paycheck, Wavell Avenue has now bankrolled $988,126 from a 17-7-2-3 record.

The $500,000 Ballerina (G1) on the August 27 Travers undercard is likely next for Wavell Avenue.

Photo courtesy of Joe Labozzetta/Adam Coglianese Photography