OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York will play host to the Grade 1 Diana Stakes on Saturday, July 25. Fillies and mares three years old and upward will take to Saratoga's turf track and race 1 1/8 miles searching for the winner's share of the $500,000 purse.
A competitive field of seven will give it a go in the Diana Stakes - race 10 on Saratoga's Saturday schedule. Post time is 6:07 PM. Let's take a look into the past performances of all seven combatants for this Grade 1 stakes - three of which are Grade 1 winners already..
Tepin - Mark Casse trained filly has five wins, a second and a third place finish in 11 career starts and enters this week on an impressive three race win streak - the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes June 6 at Belmont Park, the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile by 1 1/2 lengths May 2 and an Allowance Optional Claiming in March. She also won the Grade 3 Delta Downs Princess Stakes in 2013 and finished second in the Grade 2 San Clemente Stakes a year ago. Tepin hasn't been afraid to throw in a clunker however - an eighth place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in August and an eighth in the 2014 Grade 3 Regret Stakes are examples. That said she enters in the best form of her career and is expected to be in the mix Saturday, although she has yet to hit the board in two starts at this distance. Julien Leparoux has been tabbed to ride the sizzling filly from the rail.
Hard Not to Like - Christophe Clement trained mare has been very good in 2015 - a win, a second and a third place finish in three starts. She enters off a great win in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita May 25 which followed a third in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes in April and a second after getting DQ'd from first in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes in January. Hard Not to Like ended her 2014 campaign way back in April with a win in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley and also had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream in February, 2014. Another career highlight was a win in the Grade 3 Marshua's River Stakes at Gulfstream January 5, 2013. She has raced only five times in the last 17 months but has three wins, a second and a third place finish over that span. John Velazquez will be in the irons of the 123 pound highweight trying to keep an impressive run going from gate 4.
Stephanie's Kitten - defending runner-up in this race had a very productive Juvenile campaign in which she won or placed in all five starts (three wins and two third place finishes) including the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She was a leading Juvenile filly on dirt and turf in 2011 and looked OK in 2012 as well. She had just three starts in 2013 - a great win in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, another impressive score in the 2013 Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes and a third in July in the 2013 Dania Beach Stakes. Stephanie's Kitten had six starts in 2014 and looked very good toward the end - a second in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf followed a win in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Stakes and consecutive runner-up finishes - the Grade 1 Beverely D Stakes and the 2014 edition of this race. Stephanie's Kitten has just two starts this year - a fourth as favorite last time out in the Grade 2 New York Stakes June 5 followed a good 1 1/2 length win in the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay in March. She has two wins and three seconds in her last six starts but looks to bounce back from her worst result in a while. Irad Ortiz gets the call from gate 2 Saturday.
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My Miss Sophia - Bill Mott trained filly looked very good early in her career - a win in the Grade 2 Gazelle Stakes in April, 2014 was followed by a second in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks a month later. She failed to place in her next three starts - all stakes races including a fifth place finish two starts back in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs May 1. Last time out she returned to the winner's circle with a 4 1/2 length Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park June 5 with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure- in her turf debut. My Miss Sophia hopes that he win last time out was a sign that she is back in her early/2014 form. Joel Rosario rides from gate 6.
Lady Lara - legendary trainer Bill Mott sends out Lady Lara who had two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 13 starts in Ireland before shipping. She recorded a win, a second and a third place finish in her last three starts at home and posted two wins and a second place finish in her first three starts in North America. She won the Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes in March at Gulfstream, was a respectable second in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs in November and she won her North American debut - the minor Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park in October. Lady Lara enters on the heels of two straight fourth place finishes - the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes last time out June 6 and in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile in May. She hopes to get back on the winning track Saturday when she leaves from the outside post 7 with Junior Alvarado in the reins.
Kitten's Queen - Chad Brown trained mare made her graded stakes debut last time out and finished a respectable third in the Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont Park June 5. Before that were consecutive wins including the minor Jersey Lilly Stakes in February. She also had an OK second in the minor Blushing KD Stakes to end her 2014 campaign. Kitten's Queen has placed in her last 10 starts overall and proved she belonged in graded stakes company last time out. Jose Ortiz will be in the saddle trying to keep the upward trend going from post 3.
Waltzing Matilda - Thomas Albertrani trained Irish bred filly has 11 starts at home with a win, a second and two third place finishes - she placed in three of her last four starts overseas. She made her North American debut one to remember - a win in the Grade 2 New York Stakes June 5 at Belmont Park. Waltzing Matilda opened a few eyes last time out and will be after a second straight graded stakes win when she departs from post 5 with Javier Castellano guiding her.
Race 10 on Saratoga Race Course's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:07 PM.
|1||Tepin||J. Leparoux||M. Casse|
|2||Stephanie's Kitten||I. Ortiz, Jr.||C. Brown|
|3||Kitten's Queen||J. Ortiz||C. Brown|
|4||Hard Not to Like||J. Velazquez||C. Clement|
|5||Waltzing Matilda (IRE)||J. Castellano||T. Albertrani|
|6||My Miss Sophia||J. Rosario||W. Mott|
|7||Lady Lara (IRE)||J. Alvarado||W. Mott|
|Race Tracks||Time (EST)|