Trainer Chad Brown is seeking his sixth consecutive win in the $500,000 Diana (G1) at Saratoga and sends out a solid duo among a field of eight fillies and mares.
Brown has won the Diana six times including the previous five with a string of outstanding fillies and mares from 2016 to 2020—Dacita, Lady Eli, Sistercharlie (twice) and last year with Rushing Fall. Brown also saddled 2011 winner Zagora.
On Saturday he sends out the 5-2 morning line favorite Lemista, who ran second off the bench in the Beaguay (G2) at Belmont Park over good ground.
“She’s a top class filly. I have high hopes for her,” Brown said. “We’ve been pointing for this race for a while and I’m excited to get to it. I think that the time has done her well. She’s been working consistently well.”
Brown also sends out Pocket Square (8-1), who was the beaten favorite when fifth in the Just a Game (G1) at Belmont Park going a mile.
“I really thought she was lined up really well going into the Just a Game and I was hopeful she could overcome, but things just didn’t work out,” Brown said of Pocket Square. “She’s come back and worked really super, so I’m drawing a line through it and going right back at another Grade 1 with her.”
The top two finishers in the Just a Game were the Charlie Appleby duo of Althiqa (3-1) and Summer Romance (4-1) who are both in the race here.
2021 Just a Game Replay
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has won the Diana four times including three years in a row with Sand Springs, Angara and My Typhoon from 2005-07. His most recent Diana win was with Proviso in 2010.
Mott will saddle Harvey’s Lil Goil (3-1), who was a game third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last November at Keeneland. She came off the bench to win the Beaguay and then regressed in a fifth-place finish in the New York (G2) last out on yielding ground going 1 ¼ miles.
“It was very soft ground,” said Mott of the New York effort. “Some of our stakes have been run on really soft ground and it could have worked against her a little bit.”
The supporting stake on the Saturday card at the Spa is the $150,000 Sanford (G3) for two-year-olds that drew a field of 12. The odd Pletcher trained Wit is the 8-5 morning line favorite and will break from the rail.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 10 The Diana G1 6:16 ET
8 Althiqa 3-1
5 Harvey’s Lil Goil 3-1
7 Lemista 5-2
2 Pocket Square 8-1
This gal ran down her stablemate Summer Romance last out in the Just a Game (G1) going a mile over good ground at Belmont Park. The Appleby trainee was making her U.S. debut and off a 3 ½ month break. She has now won 5 of her 10 career starts and had landed in the money in all 10. She won the Cape Verdi (G2) at Meydan three back at a mile for her first Group score. She has given every indication she can handle nine furlongs, her lone trip at this distance coming two back in a third-place finish in the Balanchine (G2). It looks as if she is going to see enough pace in front of her and she has shown she can handle ground with some give to it and there is rain in the forecast.
Harvey’s Lil Goil
The Mott trainee did not fire her best last out in a fifth-place finish over yielding ground in the New York (G2). The runner up Thundering Nights came back to win the Pretty Polly Stakes (G1) at the Curragh on June 27. Two back our second choice came back off a six-month layoff and won the Beaguay (G3) over good ground beating Lemista. She won three of her seven starts last year and was beaten just a neck and a head in a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). She makes her third start off the bench and figures to bounce back with a better effort here and she is perfect in her two trips at nine furlongs.
This gal is one of two in here sent out by Brown who goes for his sixth consecutive win in this race. She was a solid second in the Beaguay which was her first start state side and off a 7 ½ month layoff. She won three of her four starts last year including the Kilboy Estate Stakes (G2) over yielding ground at nine furlongs at the Curragh. She has worked well since her last outing and is eligible to move forward in her second start off the break.
WIN: Althiqa to win at 5-2 or better.
EXACTA: 8 / 2,5,7 and 5,8 / 5,7,8