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Proviso Too Classy in Diana

Given a heads-up ride by Mike Smith, Proviso struck to the lead in the final furlong and held off a pair of challengers to win a thrilling 72nd renewal of the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

 

Proviso entered today’s race off two consecutive Grade 1 victories at a mile – the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap at Santa Anita in March and the Just a Game on the Belmont Stakes undercard in June – and was looking to add a Grade 1 title at the Diana’s 1 1/8th mile distance.

 

The Juddmonte Farms homebred tugged at Smith as she raced in third along the rail on the clubhouse turn, but the Hall of Fame rider was able to get her to settle under a firm hold as the field traveled up the backstretch. Angled off the hedge following a half in a modest 49.41, Proviso drew alongside the pacesetters on the far turn.

 

Put to a drive nearing the furlong marker, Proviso claimed a narrow advantage over Dynaslew in the final sixteenth, then held off late the charges of Shared Account and Forever Together to prevail by a head, with Shared Account edging out two-time defending race winner Forever Together by a nose for second. It was an additional head back to fourth-place finisher Dynaslew, who was a neck ahead of Maram in fifth.

 

“To come back to Saratoga and win a Grade 1 is awesome,” said Smith, who won the Spa riding titles from 1991-1993. “It wasn’t a big field but it was an extremely talented field, and she got the job done. I knew it was going to be a tough race, and that no one was going to draw off and win it easily because they were all too good. She made a good move down the backside and that helped us win the race.”

 

Proviso, the 5-2 second choice in the field of seven, returned $6.40 for a $2 win wager and covered the 1 1/8th miles over the Mellon Turf Course in 1:47.04. A 5-year-old daughter of Dansili, she earned $300,000 to boost her bankroll to $1,465,473 and improved her record to 8-3-5 from 21 starts.

 

Winning trainer Bill Mott – like Smith, a member of the Hall of Fame – is unsure where Proviso, who finished third in a Group 1 in France in 2008, will race next.

 

“Whether we want to go beyond [1 1/8th miles], I don’t know,” said Mott. “She’s run at a mile and a quarter before and been effective, but we’ll have to sit down and decide whether we’ll want to take the next step. At this moment, I don’t think we have decided where we’ll go. We’ve won three Grade 1s this year, so I suppose the heat is off. Hopefully the rest is just fun and gravy.”

 

Phola and My Princess Jess completed the order of finish.

 

 

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Older Comments about Proviso Too Classy in Diana...

What a super race-mare Prince Khalid Abdullah has in Proviso. Having now reeled off three consecutive Grade 1 wins in a relatively short time in America. It could have actually been four Grade 1 wins if her victory at Keenland in the Spinster Stakes had stood. But the Stewards D.Q.'d Proviso in that race and placed her second. Moving Mushka up to 1st. Proviso has definitely gotten better and more seasoned with age. This mare from Great Britain has raced, and raced well, the likes of Zarkava and Goldikova back when all were younger in 2008. But it's been in America that Proviso has really flourished and come into her own.

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