Diana Stakes 2013 at Saratoga Race Course

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York will play host to the Grade 1 Diana Stakes this Saturday, July 27. A nice purse of $600,000 will be on the line for fillies and mares three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Saratoga's turf track.

A strong field of just six including four Grade 1 winners will line up in the Diana Stakes - race 9 on Saratoga's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:12 PM. Here is a brief look into the credentials of all six entries for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes - all of which are very familiar with each other.

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Stephanie's Kitten - had a very productive Juvenile campaign in which she won or placed in all five starts (three wins and two third place finishes). Among Stephanie's Kitten's impressive wins is the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and before that the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes. Stephanie's Kitten was a leading Juvenile filly on dirt and turf in 2011 and looked OK in 2012. She had a nice win in the Grade 1 Lake Placid Stakes in August to follow a fourth in the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes on July 25 and a win in the minor Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs in May. She ended her 2012 campaign with a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 QE II Challenge Cup and then took 6 1/2 months off. She returned to the track May 4 to a great win in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile over Hungry Island and followed that with another impressive score - last time out in the Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park June 8. She has won both of her starts in 2013, three of her last four and seven of 12 in her career and has looked mighty impressive ahead of the Diana.

Centre Court - most recently finished a disappointing fourth in the Just a Game Stakes behind Stephanie's Kitten after getting caught in traffic June 8 after a three race win streak - the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley April 13, the Grade 2 Honey Fox at Gulfstream March 16 and the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs four months earlier. Before that was a pair of good seconds - the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in October and the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes in August. She also had three straight wins in the summer including the Grade 2 Lake George, the Grade 3 Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs before that and a Maiden Special Weight as well. Centre Court has six wins and four seconds in her last 11 starts - impressive indeed but will be searching for a bounce back after her worst effort since her debut.

Diana Stakes 2013 | Remaining Field Entries

Dayatthespa - won five of her six starts in 2012, three of the graded stakes variety - the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland October 13, the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga August 31, the Grade 3 Appalachian back in April, the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on March 11 and the Sweetest Chant Stakes on January 22 both at Gulfstream. Her last 2012 action came November 25 and was the only time she didn't taste victory- a disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Hollywood Park. Dayatthespa has just two starts in 2013 - a win in the minor You Go West Girl Stakes by four lengths at Belmont Park May 5 and a good second last time out to Laughing after setting the pace in the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park June 29.

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Laughing - had two straight wins in Europe before shipping to North America where she was seventh in her debut here in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine in October 2011. 2012 was better for Laughing - a win in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct in April was followed by an OK third in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico in May and an impressive win as favorite in the Grade 3 Matchmaker Stakes on July 29. She raced to an eighth in the Grade 3 Canadian Stakes in September, a third in the Grade 3 Athenia Stakes in October and finished second in the minor Lady Baltimore Stakes in her last start of 2012 October 27. In Laughing's only start this year she scored an impressive win over Dayatthespa in the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap at Monmouth Park June 29.

Dream Peace - Group 2 winner in France has raced all around the world with mixed results - four wins, two seconds and eight third place finishes in 18 career starts. She has raced to four consecutive third place finishes - last time out in the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont Park June 29, in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes at Belmont Park May 4, in the Grade 3 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine back in October (she won the E.P. Taylor in 2011) and in Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational in September. She also holds a very good second in last year's 1 Diana Stakes July 28 and a pair of pedestrian results overseas. Dream Peace has placed in her last five starts overall, has been knocking on the door and may be due for a win Saturday.

Samitar - Irish filly Samitar finished second in the Grade 2 Honey Fox behind Centre Court March 16 to start her 2013 campaign after she made her third start on North American soil with an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in October. She finished a good third in her American debut at the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes behind Center Court at Saratoga on July 25 and followed that with an impressive score in the Grade 1 Garden City Stakes on September 15. She is coming off her first win since September - in the minor Fairy Garden Stakes at Belmont Park July 4 after a fourth in the Grade 3 Gallorette May 18 and a nice second in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland April 13.

2013 Diana Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 9 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:12 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Dream Peace (IRE) M. Smith C. Brown
2 Stephanie's Kitten J. Velazquez W. Catalano
3 Dayatthespa J. Castellano C. Brown
4 Laughing (IRE) J. Lezcano A. Goldberg
5 Centre Court J. Leparoux G. Arnold, II
6 Samitar (GB) J. Rosario C. Brown

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