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HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Laughing all the way in the Diana

Laughing MP 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Bettors, myself included, had a hard time deciding between Stephanie’s Kitten and Centre Court, but in the end, neither of the top two betting choices crossed the wire first. Instead Laughing, the second longest shot on the board, led the talented field on a merry chase around the inner turf course at Saratoga to win the G1 Diana Stakes.
 
 
With Jose Lezcano in the irons, Irish bred Laughing broke on top and went straight out to the lead. Despite Centre Court closely stalking the pace on the outside, Lezcano was able to take Laughing in hand and keep the field at a nice, even pace. After being allowed to get away with a steady 12-clip, Laughing had plenty left when asked for her best stride at the quarter pole. She then put away Centre Court for good and fended off the late runs of both Dream Peace and Stephanie’s Kitten, the second and third place finishers respectively, to narrowly prevail by a head at the wire.
 
 
The Richard Santulli owned mare completed the 9 furlongs in 1.47:24 and paid $15.80/$6.70/$3.50. Today’s win was her third in a graded stakes race and her first career Grade 1 victory. It also kept her a perfect 2 for 2 for the year after having a delayed start to her 2013 campaign. Trainer Alan Goldberg, who last won the Diana with Safely Kept, was not quick to commit to a game plan for Laughing but did state that the Ballston Spa and the G1 Flower Bowl were possibilities.
 
 
Coming into today’s race, Laughing faced a tough task, namely to take down 4 Grade 1 winners. That task was made a little easier when Dayatthespa, who Laughing had decisively beaten last out at 8.5 furlongs, scratched. Tactically speaking, Dayatthespa’s scratch was huge for Laughing. Even though Centre Court had shown some early speed in a couple of previous races, with Dayatthespa out of the picture, Laughing was left all alone on the front end to have things all her way. Julien Leparoux and Centre Court tried to negate that advantage, but ultimately that tactic backfired as Center Court backed out of contention in the final furlong to finish 5th and last, ¾ of a length behind Samitar.
 
 
Those who had Laughing probably laughed all the way to cashing in a winning ticket. I considered her briefly on account of the alone on the lead angle but ultimately passed in favor of Stephanie’s Kitten. Those that know me know that I have a ‘No Kitten’ rule. In other words, if “Kitten” is in the name or the horse in question was sired by Kitten’s Joy, I pass in favor of a different contender. In recent weeks, that rule bit me in the backside time and time again, so after getting crushed by Kitten’s Dumplings last week, I threw in the towel and decided to pick a “Kitten.” Now, Stephanie’s Kitten has always been the exception to my rule, so picking her today wasn’t all that far-fetched for me; however, my thoughts on picking her were reflected in one very telling tweet:
 
 
Ashley Tamulonis  @Florida_Filly  I picked a "Kitten" today. Watch that angle backfire like an old farm truck. #Saratoga #Diana
 
 
Sure enough, that old farm truck backfired so loud it startled stock in the next county. In Stephanie’s Kitten’s defense, though, she closed into a tepid pace to only be beaten for it all by a scanty half-length. With a different pace scenario, look for Stephanie’s Kitten to be back on the top of her game next out, but look out for Laughing, too. Today, she showed that she meant business with that gutsy, front-running performance. 

 

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Older Comments about Laughing all the way in the Diana...

Those Kittens....*shakes head in disgust* I don't pick them and they win; I pick them and they lose. Talk about a love/hate relationship.
95 BSF for Laughing in the Diana.
Pace makes the race ... still think Stephanie is the best of this bunch.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis
  
 

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

 

Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

 

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.