Saratoga horse racing is back and it’s spearheaded by the Grade I Diana Stakes.
Brad Cox lines up four of the six runners in the $750,000 event, including the unbeaten Bleecker Street and dangerous import Rougir. It’s an intriguing race this weekend as the Saratoga horse racing schedule kicks off.
Bleecker Street All the Rage
The career of Bleecker Street began modestly with victories in allowance company at Meadowlands and Tampa Bay Downs, but now she is a grade I standout and favored to win the Diana Stakes on Saturday.
The daughter of Quality Road first added the Hillsborough and Modesty Stakes to her resume after winning the Endeavour Stakes; her most spectacular victory came in the Grade I New York Stakes at Belmont last time around against a similar field.
She managed to fend off the talented field, including stablemate Rougir. Trainer Chad Brown has been pleased with her progression after not expecting her to be a Grade I-winning filly.
“Every time I’ve asked her to do something she’s stepped up and done it,” Brown told DRF.com. “Every one of her races has been a new challenge for her. No matter competition, distance, or the type of turf she’s on, she keeps meeting the challenges. She keeps running a faster number each time, slowly getting better and stronger.
“You can’t start your career any better on turf where you’re so trip dependent and weather dependent. For her to start off with seven straight is just remarkable.”
Saratoga horse racing should suit Bleecker Street, who is an adaptable type and horse racing odds should have her favored to win. She has already beaten fields of this nature and we fancy her chances of starting her campaign with a bang.
French Filly Well-Found
Rougir is the biggest threat to Bleecker Street and the Brown-trained stablemate could turn the tables on the New York Stakes defeat.
She was purchased by Peter Brant and Coolmore for a whopping $3.3 million. She’s not expected to win that back on the racetrack, but winning the Diana Stakes would go a long way to improve her broodmare status.
“I’m the lucky recipient of some nice fillies (Brant) bought over there” in Europe, Brown said. “Me and my team are very grateful for all the horses Mr. Brant sends us. It looks like we’re off to a great season. This is his tenth graded win already this season. He’s having a great year and deservedly so. He’s done the right thing by his horses (this) winter resting them.”
The former French runner scored a quality win two back when those who bet on horse racing got the chocolates. However, despite being beaten by Bleecker Street when fifth in the New York Stakes, she could turn the tables.
She should be well-favored to win on the Saratoga horse racing card and betting markets act as a good guide.
Creative Flair Seeking Consecutive Wins
Since winning the Balanchine Stakes at Meydan in April, Creative Flair hasn’t competed, but the Charlie Appleby-trained filly has talent and could win the Diana Stakes.
When she finished third in the Oaks behind Con Lima at Saratoga, the daughter of Dubawi gained valuable experience. Her two subsequent runs have been great and we anticipate that form to hold up well against this kind of competition.
The European filly is valuable to include on your Diana Stakes tickets and Appleby rarely comes away from big meetings without success.
“We just went for a jog to stretch their legs and show them a bit of daylight after being in quarantine. Everybody was happy. They are horses that will suit their races. Creative Flair was here last year, so she knows America,” stable representative Sophie Chretien said.
Saratoga horse racing markets should have Creative Flair at each-way odds. She could track the speed and show a good turn-of-foot in the straight.Follow us on Twitter