Trainer Chad Brown confirmed Martin Schwartz’s Zagora for a title defense in the Grade 1
Diana, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares on July 28, after the
5-year-old mare breezed four furlongs on the Oklahoma training track in 49.93 on Sunday
with exercise rider Walter Malasquez in the irons.
The 2011 Diana marked the first Grade 1 win for both Zagora and
Mechanicville native Brown. Zagora has three Grade 3 wins in four 2012 starts,
taking the Grade 3 Gallorette on May 19 at Pimlico in her most recent effort.
Her lone loss was a fifth in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April at Keeneland.
“She came out of the Gallorette with a popped splint, and we
freshened her for a couple of weeks to fix that,” said Brown. “She
caught a slow pace [in the Jenny Wiley], and she’s 0-for-3 at Keeneland.
It’s not her course. Otherwise, she’s been perfect this
who was nominated to the Diana after winning the Mohegan Sky overnight stakes
on June 16 at Belmont Park in her North American debut, will await the restricted
$100,000 De La Rose on August 4, Brown said.
Banimpire, fifth in
the Grade 2 New York in her first start since being purchased by Schwartz for
approximately $3.1 million at auction in Ireland last autumn, has gone to
the sidelines with a throat abscess, Brown said.
“She’s at [Dr.] Scott Palmer’s clinic in New Jersey getting
evaluated,” said Brown. “She has some sort of abscess in her throat
that won’t pop. We’re treating it aggressively with antibiotics. I
think it was developing going into the race and she didn’t have her