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Saratoga Saturday: Analyzing the Diana

The turf is "Good" today at Saratoga, where the card is highlighted by the Grade 1 Diana and the Grade 2 Jim Dandy. I will focus on the fillies and mares today, as I lack a strong opinion in the Jim Dandy. The Diana draws a quality field of six horses and should be a great race.

The good turf bodes well for several of today's entries, including Zagora, who looks to me to be the one to beat as she tries for a repeat victory. Her Diana victory last year was over good going and she has won three of her four starts this year. The lone loss was in the Jenny Wiley, which began very slowly. I would assume today's opening fraction will be below :25. Zagora is the 5-2 second choice, but considering the prices she has offered this year, it seems fair. She may drop to 2-1, but I would assume Winter Memories will be favored. Zagora is the horse I feel most confident backing in this spot.


Tapitsfly ran impressively in the one mile Just A Game last out, but she will have another panel to go today. She will likely not be given a clear lead, which she certainly enjoyed last time, due to Law of the Range to her outside, but she has demonstrated versatility. It will be interesting to see where Tapitsfly winds up in the running. Law of the Range should lead early, but could be in deep in her U.S. debut. She stretches to a distance she has tried to no avail and catches a tough field. I like Tapitsfly, but I will not be playing her at today's conditions.


Dream Peace looks dangerous. The Dansili filly has kept good company, including the open Group 1 Singapore Airlines International last out. She has also shipped to Woodbine and has run at nine and ten furlongs. While she was eighth to Chinchon (and others) at Kranji, that was a very ambitious race to ship for. In the more reasonable journey to the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, she nearly won. She should trail the field early, but will likely be heard from at the end. She was coming off of better efforts when she shipped to Woodbine last fall, but she's run in top races on three continents, won going clockwise and counterclockwise, and should rally late.


Winter Memories is a beautiful gray turf horse, and I usually love beautiful gray turf horses, but I have never been a fan of Winter Memories. She is seven of eleven lifetime, however, and two of three at the Spa, including a decisive victory over the good turf in last year's Lake George. The morning line favorite has been the post time favorite in every start she has ever made, including her career debut victory over Hungry Island...


Who has bested Winter Memories once in four meetings: the Lake Placid last year, run at nine furlongs over a yielding turf course. Hungry Island does not boast the unbroken string of graded stakes races in her past performances that most of these do, but the hard-trying filly always makes a good account of herself. I like Hungry Island and she looks to fit in this spot.


I expect the two horses closest to the rail to be first and second early, with Zagora and Winter Memories a ways off the pace ahead of Hungry Island and Dream Peace. I like Zagora to repeat and will play her mostly over, some under Hungry Island and Dream Peace.

 

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Older Comments about Saratoga Saturday: Analyzing the Diana...

How can you not like Winter Memories??? With that out of the way, I tend to agree with you. I don't think Tapitsfly will like the 9 f, and I believe Zagora and Winter Memories are the best bets for the top 2 spots.
  • head_heart_hooves · For completely selfish reasons. When I've bet her, she's burned me. When I don't, she burns me. Solely a handicapping thing. She's a very cool horse, ablility-, personality-, and looks-wise. I just can't seem to get a handle on her. · 710 days ago
If the Irish bred runs like most do in the dew, that one will have a big leg up
Dream Peace for me on the wet stuff.
Hungry Island, baby...

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