Tepin stretches out in Diana Stakes

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - – David Gren­ing

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Though she has won all three of her starts in 2015, in­clud­ing the Grade 1 Just a Game, Tepin still has ques­tions to an­swer in Satur­day’s Grade 1, $500,000 Diana Stakes at Saratoga.

Pri­mar­ily, can she get the 1 1/8 miles the Diana re­quires?

In six ca­reer starts on turf, Tepin has three wins and a sec­ond. Her two bad ef­forts on turf have come in races at 1 1/8 miles.

In the Grade 3 Re­gret at Churchill Downs in June 2014, she fin­ished last. Tepin “al­most got put over the fence,” trainer Mark Casse said.

In the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks in Au­gust, where she again fin­ished last, Tepin came out of the race with a prob­lem that Casse be­lieved to be a case of the thumps, an elec­trolyte im­bal­ance.

“I wouldn’t base any opin­ions on those races,” Casse said Wed­nes­day. “That all be­ing said, I don’t know if she’ll go a mile and an eighth. I think the key is if Julien [Leparoux] can get her to re­lax early, be­cause if she doesn’t re­lax, it’s go­ing to be tough.”

Own­ers Ken and Sarah Ram­sey and trainer Chad Brown have en­tered two in the Diana, with Kit­ten’s Queen a rab­bit for Stephanie’s Kit­ten. That tac­tic didn’t work in the New York Stakes, where Kit­ten’s Queen fin­ished in front of Stephanie’s Kit­ten. Both will have new riders Satur­day, with Jose Or­tiz rid­ing Kit­ten’s Queen and Irad Or­tiz Jr. rid­ing Stephanie’s Kit­ten.

Stephanie’s Kit­ten fin­ished sec­ond in last year’s Diana, a neck be­hind So­mali Lemon­ade, and was a close third to Laugh­ing in the 2013 edi­tion.

Hard Not to Like, the win­ner of the Grade 1 Gamely last out, and the Bill Mott un­cou­pled duo of My Miss Sophia and Lady Lara also were en­tered in the Diana, which will go as race 10 on the 11-race card.

A field of 11 2-year-olds will vie in Satur­day’s Grade 3 San­ford. That group is led by Cocked and Loaded and Paynes Prairie, first and sec­ond in the Tre­mont, and He’s Comin in Hot, the easy win­ner of the Grade 3 Bash­ford Manor at Churchill Downs. The re­main­der of the field con­sists of Awe­some Slew, John Q. Public, Magna Light, Per­co­la­tor, Save the Drama, Sunny Ridge, Twirling Cin­na­mon, and Un­cle Vinny.

Del Mar: San Diego Hand­i­cap

DEL MAR, Calif. – When Catch a Flight fin­ished third as the 8-5 fa­vorite in the $501,500 Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 27, the most frus­trated per­son in­volved with the horse was jockey Gary Stevens.

Look­ing back, Stevens wished he had not urged Catch a Flight to the lead in early stretch and had waited longer

be­fore mak­ing a move.

“I went to the lead too early, and they went by me,” Stevens said. “I didn’t like my ride. I’d like a do-over.”

The chance for re­demp­tion ar­rives Satur­day when Catch a Flight starts in the $200,000 San Diego Hand­i­cap at 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar. The Grade 2 San Diego is a prep for the $1 mil­lion Pa­cific Clas­sic at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 22, the track’s rich­est race.

Stevens ar­gues that Catch a Flight will be bet­ter suited to the San Diego dis­tance. He thinks the 5-year-old horse is ca­pa­ble of win­ning.

“I think short­en­ing him up will help,” Stevens said. “I think a mile and a quar­ter is stretch­ing it.”

Catch a Flight is proven at the San Diego dis­tance. Trained by Richard Man­della, Catch a Flight won con­sec­u­tive stakes at Santa Anita in May, the Grade 3 Pre­ci­sioniset Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on May 2 and the Grade 2 Cal­i­for­nian Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on May 30.

In the Gold Cup, Catch a Flight was fifth on the back­stretch and made a move to the lead on the turn and into the stretch. He led by a head at the eighth pole and was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Hard Aces, who fin­ished a nose in front of Hop­per­tu­nity.

Hop­per­tu­nity is ex­pected to be fa­vored in the San Diego Hand­i­cap. Other con­tenders are Bay­ern, who is win­less in two starts since a win in the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic at Santa Anita last Novem­ber, and Ma­jes­tic City, who won the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Hand­i­cap in Texas on May 25 but was sev­enth af­ter a poor start in the Gold Cup.

Mon­mouth: Jersey Shore

OCEAN­PORT, N.J. – Blame Jim and Jack­son P look like the horses to beat when a field of seven 3-year-olds meets Satur­day in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Mon­mouth Park. The $100,000 Jersey Shore is a six­fur­long sprint.

Blame Jim, trained by Todd Pletcher, is 2 for 6. In his last start, he was sec­ond best be­hind Noble Corner­stone in a sec­ond-level op­tional-claim­ing race at Bel­mont Park. Blame Jim put away the other fron­trun­ners in that race but could not hold off the late-run­ning Noble Corner­stone, who is now 5 for 11 in his ca­reer.

Jack­son P, trained by Cathal Lynch, re­turned from a three­month lay­off in his most re­cent race to win a first-level, off-theturf al­lowance sprint at Parx. He is now 2 for 4.

Other con­tenders in­clude Joe Franklin, who will make his first start for David Jacobson af­ter be­ing claimed from Kelly Breen for $50,000; twotime stakes win­ner Blue­grass Singer; and Heb­bronville, an op­tional-claim­ing win­ner at El­lis Park in his last start for Lynn Whit­ing.

The field is com­pleted by Forge Ahead Franki and W V Jetsetter.


Stephanie’s Kit­ten, shown train­ing Wed­nes­day, will run in the Diana for the third time Satur­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.