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Diana Stakes Betting – Hard Not To Like Lives Up To Her Name

Posted by on 7/23/2015 9:51:48 PM

The Grade-1 Diana Stakes is a prestigious event for fillies and mares three years old and up, and the winner will book their ticket to the Breeders' Cup Fillies And Mares Turf with a victor as it is part of the Challenge Series. This race has a purse of $500,000 and is run over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Saratoga Springs in New York, which has been its home since its inception in 1973.

This is a small field, but one where any of the fillies and mares that line up in the gate could take. You should take a good look at the odds going into the race, but looking at past resumes, it is hard not to like, well, Hard Not To Like, which should edge out any of three horses to the wire in what could be the best race since the Triple Crown season ended.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, July 25th, 2015; post time TBA

Where : Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, NY

Pick : Hard Not To Like

Hard Not To Like ran two races in 2014, winning both, and then came back in January to post three finishes in the money, including a win at the Grade-1 Gamely Stakes in May. This six-year-old mare finished fifth at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2011, but hasn't been back since. This late resurgence could put her in the field.

Kitten's Queen came in third at the Grade-2 New York Stakes in her last start, which was her second graded-stakes start after a fourth at the Grade-2 Sands Point back in 2013. She'll probably be a longshot here, but she has some speed and usually does well in allowance races; however, this five-year-old mare have to find another gear on Saturday.

Lady Lara ran fourth at the Grade-1 Just A Game and this Irish filly is no stranger to American turf as she has run her last races on this side of the pond since October 2014. She should still have her legs under her at four years old, and she is going to be a horse to deal with this weekend.

My Miss Sophia finished fifth or worse in three starts before a win in an allowance race in June, but that was her first start on turf, and her fifth-place run at the Grade-1 La Troienne in May was her first start in almost eight months. This might be a matter of seeing what is in the legs of this four-year-old that there were high hopes for after a second-place run at the Grade-1 Kentucky Oaks last May. It has been all downhill since then.

Stephanie's Kitten ran fourth at the New York Stakes, which followed a win at the Grade-3 Hillsborough Stalkes in March. She finished third in this race in 2013, then second last year to Somali Lemondade. She has been improving in those starts and since the Diana last year, she has three second-place finishes two wins in graded-stakes starts (including the Grade-1 Flower Bowl Invitational last September) and then there was the New York Stakes. This six-year-old mare always hangs around the front and that could work to her advantage if a horse in front stumbles.

Tepin might be the slight favorite coming into this race as she has won her first three starts in 2015, and while one was an allowance race, she won the Grade-2 Distaff Turf Mile in May and the Just A Game in June. The biggest issue with this four-year-old is the distance; she has run 1 1/8 miles and finished eighth both times. Is she really a sprinter? We'll see on Saturday.

Waltzing Matilda rounds out the field after winning the New York Stakes, which was the first start on American turf for this Irish filly. It wasn't a bad start to her career in North America at all and a win would do nothing but help her along the way and at four years old, she has plenty of time to get even better. In her last five starts, she has finished in the money four times.

How It Will Play Out

This should be a very exciting race as any horse in the field could legitimately win it. The Irish fillies are intriguing, but so is Hard Not To Like, who proves her name right and gets to the winner's circle.

Diana Stakes Betting Pick: Hard Not To Like

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