2018 Diana Stakes Picks
Diana Stakes Preview and Odds
After winning three of five races in France to start her career, the four-year-old Irish-bred Sistercharlie (9-5 favorite in the morning line) made her United States debut last summer when she ran second in the (G1) Belmont Oaks Invitational, and then made her second appearance a winning one, kicking off the 2018 season by taking the (G1) Jenny Wiley at Keeneland in April.
Last out on Belmont Stakes weekend in June she came from mid-pack to get up for second in the (G2) New York Stakes, where she was able to take advantage of a fairly solid early pace to just miss the win by a head in the 1 1/4 mile race. Cutting back in distance here she’s again going to want a fast pace to run at, and looking at a couple others in the field she might just get it.
Speedy Hawksmoor Has Lots of Big-Race Experience
One of those likely up on the front early to set the fractions is Hawksmoor (6-1) who will break from the opposite end of the gate. Another Irish-bred mare, she has been racing in the United States for the past two years, with eight of her nine starts on this side of the pond at the graded-stakes level.
Her last two victories came last spring, but she has three runner-up finishes in her last five starts, two of those in the (G1) Matriarch Stakes and (G1) First Lady Stakes. She stumbled badly out of the gate in the (G1) Gamely Stakes, and finished fifth there, and she has been off since May training up to the Diana and should be fresh.
German-bred A Raving Beauty (2-1) made 17 starts in Europe with only three wins, but has been unbeatable since coming to the US for 2018 and into the barn of trainer Chad Brown. She won the (G3) Beaugay Stakes at Belmont in her North American debut, and then wheeled right back in early June to win the (G1) Just A Game Stakes, also on the Belmont turf.
She’s stretching out in distance here and probably facing a tougher field than she did in either of those two races, but she has good tactical speed that should allow her to sit in a stalking position early and has shown good acceleration when they turn for home.
The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner New Money Honey (8-1) struggled at the end of last season after scoring a win in mid-summer in the 2017 Belmont Oaks Invitational, but she was given six months off after running fourth in the (G1) American Oaks and prepped for this with an allowance-level win at Belmont a month ago. A return to her form of one year ago puts her in contention for a minor award here.
The Diana Stakes goes Saturday, July 21 from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. It’s race #10 on Saratoga’s 11-race card, and immediately follows the (G3) Sanford Stakes for juvenile colts hoping to start their journey toward the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Post time for the Diana is expeceted to be 6:18 PM Eastern.
Entries w/ ML Odds
- Sistercharlie (9-5)
- Proctor’s Ledge (4-1)
- New Money Honey (8-1)
- War Canoe (50-1)
- Ultra Brat (8-1)
- A Raving Beauty (2-1)
- Hawksmoor (6-1)
Diana Stakes Picks
- 1) #1 – Sistercharlie
- 2) #7 – Hawksmoor
- 3) #6 – A Raving Beauty
- 4) #3 – New Money Honey
Betting Saratoga Horse Races
For the next seven weeks until Labor Day weekend, Saratoga hosts the premier summer race meet in North America. During the meet the track holds live racing six days a week, and on the schedule throughout the summer are qualifying races for both the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The races on August 25 include the $1.5 million Travers Stakes, where it’s expected that 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify will be a part of the field.
You can follow the action at Saratoga all summer long and bet the races with an account in Bovada’s online racebook.
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