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Didia Can High Chad Brown-Skilled Quintet in Saratoga’s Diana Stakes

The Grade 1, $500,000 Diana Stakes is the primary Grade 1 race throughout what guarantees to be one other massive Saratoga Race Course summer time assembly. 5 of the ten horses entered to run on turf within the Diana already are millionaires, and people entrants are simply among the many contenders within the stellar subject.

Main the sphere is Didia at greater than $1.5 million in profession earnings, coming off a win in the same Grade 1 New York Stakes offered by Rivers On line casino final month at Saratoga. Canadian traditional winner Moira ($1.4 million) makes her first begin of the 12 months, having gained the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes offered by the Japan Racing Affiliation final September as her largest turf accomplishment. Each Fluffy Socks and Gina Romantica verify in at $1.2 million in earnings. Fluffy Socks enters this race off a win within the Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes whereas Gina Romantica hasn’t gained since final fall, however that victory got here within the Grade 1 First Woman Stakes offered by UK HealthCare. Chili Flag crossed the $1 million threshold final month with a win within the Grade 1 Simply A Recreation Stakes and definitely suits with these. The expertise doesn’t finish with that group as 2023 Diana Stakes winner Whitebeam atempts to enhance off a slender defeat when second within the Simply A Recreation, as does Mission of Pleasure, who was simply one other head behind in third. Equally, Evvie Jets, who gained the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes final summer time at Saratoga, led from the beginning within the Simply A Recreation and was crushed a complete of three-quarters of a size when fourth in that blanket end. Neecie Marie additionally seems to have a robust shot to succeed as she was second just lately behind Didia within the New York Stakes. Coppice rounds out the sphere however isn’t with out a likelihood both as she was crushed a neck by Chili Flag within the Grade 2 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile in Might earlier than affected by a troubled begin within the Simply A Recreation Stakes final month. Venti Valentine is entered to run if the race comes off the grass and is run on dust. She gained the Crucial Eye Stakes on the dust at Saratoga final month.

High contenders:

Coach Chad Brown entered 5 of the ten in the principle physique of the Diana, however he nonetheless could not discover the winner’s circle when all is alleged and achieved. It’s because the horse to beat could also be Didia, skilled by Ignacio Correas IV. Winner of 11 of her 15 turf begins, the 6-year-old mare proved she has not misplaced a step with a robust victory final month on this course within the New York Stakes. The 1 3/16-mile distance of that race is a bit farther than the 1 1/8-mile distance of this race however related sufficient, and he or she gained her solely race at this distance since importing to the U.S. in the summertime of 2022 when taking the 2023 Modesty Stakes offered by TwinSpires in Might of final 12 months. Within the New York Stakes, Didia earned a 113 Equibase Velocity Determine, which is simply two factors off her profession prime and one of the best determine earned this 12 months amongst any horse within the subject. Jose Ortiz was aboard for the win within the New York, in addition to within the TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational Stakes in January and rides the mare again within the Diana, so the probabilities of her repeating her effort from one month in the past seem fairly sturdy.

Neecie Marie began 11th of 13 within the New York Stakes then confirmed a wonderful kick when going from 10th to fifth after a half-mile had been run, then shifting up from fourth to second within the stretch. Previous to that, Neecie Marie returned from 5 1/2 months off to win the Beaugay Stakes, beating Whitebeam by a neck, and incomes a 103 determine. Enhancing to a 111 determine within the New York, the sample suggests Neecie Marie goes to take one other step ahead in her third begin off a layoff, and contemplating she is a 4-year-old she actually has room to enhance on that depend as effectively. As such, Neecie Marie could have an upset shot on this race, notably as she could also be ignored by bettors who can be gravitating to horses who gained their most up-to-date race and people skilled by Chad Brown, which she isn’t.

Whitebeam and Chili Flag completed second and first, respectively, within the Simply A Recreation Stakes, run on the shorter distance of 1 mile on the Saratoga turf. Each are skilled by Chad Brown, who additionally entered Coppice, Gina Romantica, and Fluffy Socks. Whitebeam gained this race final 12 months with a 113 Equibase Velocity Determine, the identical determine Didia earned profitable the New York Stakes final month. Nonetheless, within the Simply A Recreation, run on the identical day because the New York, Whitebeam earned solely a 96 determine, not ok to win this race if repeated. However, she earned a 102 determine when crushed by only a neck by Neecie Marie within the Beaugay Stakes in Might and he or she can also be making her third begin following a five-month layoff so there may be room to enhance. That is notably true as a result of previous to profitable the Diana in 2023, Whitebeam earned solely an 87 pace determine profitable the Gallorette Stakes earlier than enhancing to 113 in her third begin off a layoff, the identical as she can be making within the Diana.

Chili Flag has gained 5 of her final eight races going again to final summer time, together with three graded stakes in succession. She gained the Honey Fox Stakes in March with a 104 determine earlier than enhancing to a 109 determine when victorious within the Distaff Turf Mile in Might. She earned a 97 determine profitable the Simply A Recreation on the identical day Didia earned a 113 determine profitable the New York final month over this course. All three latest wins have come on the distance of 1 mile, and the one time she ran this distance she misplaced by a nostril. That isn’t to say she will’t win the race, however one mile could also be her most well-liked distance as in contrast with this1 1/8-mile journey.

The remainder of the sphere (with finest Equibase Velocity Determine in a consultant race: Coppice (109), Evvie Jets (112), Fluffy Socks (112), Gina Romantica (108), Mission of Pleasure (118), Moira (120). Venti Valentine (95), entered to run if the race strikes to the principle monitor.

Win Contenders in choice/likelihood order:


Neecie Marie


Chili Flag


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