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Check out our predictions and odds for the Diana Stakes at Saratoga!
|I Ortiz Jr
Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
$40 Exacta - In Italian over Fev Rover = $40
$20 Exacta - Fev Rover over In Italian = $20
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick In Italian (4/5).
Check out our Horse Racing Calculator to ensure your bets.
Trainer Chad Brown looks to have a stranglehold on the field when he sends out four of the five classy turf mares entered in Saturday’s Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga.
Leading the way is the speedy In Italian. Since finishing her successful 2022 season off with a good second in the Grade 1Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, she has been even better this year.
Her season began with an easy win in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland in April, and she followed that up with a commanding victory in the Grade 1 Just A Game at Belmont.
The English-bred daughter of Dubawi has won four of her last five overall, all of which have come in Grade 1 races. The streak began one year ago with a win in the 2022 edition of the Diana.
Her three stablemates are all graded stakes winners and include Marketsegmentation, who has won three in a row, as well as Fluffy Socks and Whitebeam.
The only non-Chad Brown-trainee in the 9-furlong Diana cannot be dismissed. Fev Rover faced some very good competition in Europe before transferring to the Marc Casse barn in North America.
Twice a graded stakes winner in four starts in Canada, she comes off her best performance yet, romping home in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes last out at Woodbine.
A strong candidate for an Eclipse Award last year, this daughter of Dubawi is the clear leader of the division so far in 2023. In two Grade 1 races this season, she has made it look easy, leading both fields on a merry chase from gate to wire.
The controlling speed once again here, the defending race champion will be the one they all have to chase on Saturday. Likely to be a heavy favorite, she will have to go a furlong further than her last, but she is proven at the distance.
The potential wrench in the monkey works could be the course condition, but even a wet turf is not likely to slow down the classy mare. She is clearly the one to beat and is the top pick.
This daughter of American Pharoah has the potential to be the next turf star for the Brown barn. The 4-year-old has never run a bad race in seven career starts and comes in on a three-race winning streak.
Her last was her best yet, beating good mares in the Grade 2 New York at Belmont Park. Having said that, she was the beneficiary of a very slow early pace. This time she will have to chase In Italian, which is always a daunting task.
With her good form and upward mobility, she cannot be ignored here, but I feel the task at hand is very likely to end her winning streak.
This daughter of Slumber finally broke through with a big win last time after running seven straight good performances in defeat for trainer Chad Brown.
Her win in the Grade 2 Distaff Mile was one of the best performances in her career and came in her seasonal debut. Now 5, and a multiple graded stakes winner, it will be interesting to see if she can move to the top echelon of female turf horses.
As for Saturday, she has the least speed in a loaded five-horse race. It will be tough to run down In Italian and the rest. I feel she is more likely to fill out a spot in the exotics.
It is no surprise that this Irish-bred mare relished the yielding turf last time in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes at Woodbine. Making her seasonal debut, she romped home by more than four lengths over last year’s Canadian Horse of the Year Moira.
Having proven her class in Europe, it looks like she has taken to the North American style of racing just fine. Saturday will be her American debut, and In Italian is the toughest competition you could ask for. Still, off the last race, she deserves serious consideration.
Also, with rain in the forecast, she should get a turf course with plenty of cut, which helps her chances. I believe she is the most dangerous foe for the big favorite.
An English-bred daughter of Caravaggio, this 4-year-old gray filly has made only two starts in America. Only once out of the money in six starts in Europe, her U.S. career has gotten off to a promising start.
After just missing in the Plenty of Grace Stakes at Aqueduct in April, she made easy work of the Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes last time at Pimlico on Preakness weekend.
She has been consistent in her career and could be another good one for Chad Brown, but this will certainly be the Juddmonte homebred’s toughest test yet.
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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