2020 Diana Stakes (Saratoga) - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

Diana Stakes Saratoga

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Mean Mary (7/2)

Post Position and Odds Diana Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Diana Stakes at Saratoga!

PPHorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1CALL ME LOVE8/1
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J RosarioC Clement
2SECRET MESSAGE15/1
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I Ortiz Jr.G Motion
3RUSHING FALL2/1
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J CastellanoC Brown
4STARSHIP JUBILEE4/1
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J OrtizK Attard
5SISTERCHARLIE2/1
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J VelazquezC Brown
6MEAN MARY7/2
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L SaezG Motion

Best Bets & Picks for the Diana Stakes

Here are my plays ($30 in total)

$10 Exacta box – Mean Mary and Sistercharlie = $20

$5 Exacta box – Mean Mary and Starship Jubilee = $10

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Mean Mary (7/2).

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It may only include a total of six, but Sunday’s $500,000 Diana Stakes is not lacking in star power. Topped by a pair of acclaimed turf mares from the barn of Chad Brown, the Grade 1 affair on the Saratoga turf promises to identify the current leader in a loaded division of grass females.

While Sistercharlie and Rushing Fall have collected accolades over the last several years, two of their challengers have thrown their hats in the ring as potential champions in 2020. Combined, the pair of Starship Jubilee and Mean Mary are 7-for-7 this season, all coming in stakes racing.

Still, it is the Brown pair who should vie for favoritism in the Diana. Sistercharlie will be seeking her third consecutive win in the prestigious race, while Rushing Fall has been perfect in two graded stakes starts this year.

Call Me Love, who split Starship Jubilee and Sistercharlie when second in the recent Ballston Spa (G2), and the multiple graded stakes winner Secret Message round out the classy field.

How to watch the Diana Stakes

Diana Stakes Race Information
WhatDiana Stakes (G1)
WhereSaratoga
WhenSunday, August 23 — 5:18 pm Eastern time
How to WatchFox Sports 1
Purse$500,000

Race Analysis

Sistercharlie

Bet down to 2-5 in her seasonal debut last month in the Ballston Spa, many were shocked to see the champion run third behind Starship Jubilee and Call Me Love. It was undoubtedly not her very best, but she was still only beaten 1 ½-lengths. That defeat came after a layoff of more than eight months, so improvement can be expected as she stretches out to a trip she obviously appreciates. The late run of the two-time defending champion of the Diana is tried and true, and only a regression at the age of 6 would keep her from being a huge threat once again. In search of three in a row, she is still the one they all have to beat, and I fully expect her to make her presence felt in the final furlong.

Rushing Fall

The winner of 10-of-13 lifetime, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf back in 2017, is always tough. In last year’s Diana, she ran a good race but was unable to answer the late charge of her stablemate. Sharp in two starts this year, she will now add an extra sixteenth of a mile once again for this important race. It will be interesting to see if they go right after the lead with her or try to sit off the early speed of Mean Mary. If either is allowed to gallop along on the lead at any point in the backstretch, they become much more of a danger to the late runners. It’s hard to pick against her ever, but at the odds, and having watched last year’s edition, I am going to side with others in here, but with reluctance.

Mean Mary

With only a maiden and an allowance victory to her credit in four lifetime starts through her 3-year-old season, she was a relative unknown when the year began, but oh how things have changed for the daughter of Scat Daddy. Trained by Graham Motion, Mean Mary has gone from strength to strength in blitzing her competition in each of her three starts in 2020. All of them came in graded stakes competition, at distances of 12, 11, and 10 furlongs respectively. Now she cuts back in distance again, while facing easily the best competition of her career. She’s also wired each of her wins this year, but now will have to deal with the classy speed of Rushing Fall. There are plenty of reasons to pick against her, but I believe that she is going so well right now, that this may become another notch in her belt. She is the top pick in a tough race.

Starship Jubilee

A champion herself in Canada, the 7-year-old mare has been good for a long time, but never better than she is in 2020. Her talent and desire to win were on full display when upsetting Sistercharlie with a determined run in the Ballston Spa four weeks ago. Things only get tougher on Sunday as she will not only have to face Sistercharlie again, now with a race under her belt, but also Rushing Fall and Mean Mary, as well. She has excellent tactical speed and will not mind the extra half-furlong of the Diana. It will be a tough task to win her fifth straight of the season, but as good as she is going, she can certainly do it again.

Call Me Love

In this field, the Christophe Clement trainee deserves no better than to be the fifth choice, but certainly cannot be thrown out either. The daughter of Sea the Stars has two strong second-place finishes in three overall starts in the United States, including a second to Rushing Fall in the Beaugay (G3). Last time she just missed after a spirited battle with Starship Jubilee on the Saratoga lawn after being cut back down in distance to 8 ½ furlongs. Bred in England and previously raced in Italy, she looks the more likely to run a big race of the two longer shots.

Secret Message

Despite collecting a graded stakes win in each of the last three seasons, the Graham Motion trained late runner has never quite been able to handle the likes of what she will see on Sunday. Last summer, she ran fourth in Diana behind the winner Sistercharlie and the runner-up Rushing Fall. The upset winner of the MInt Julep (G3) at Saratoga three starts ago looks like the rank outsider in this star-studded field of six.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

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: brian.zipse@wsn.com