There is only one Grade 1 race this weekend in the Sport of Kings, and that race will take place at Saratoga for the Diana Stakes.
There's only seven fillies and mares going to post in this one, but there are a lot of stars on the track who could be difference-makers.
Stephanie's Kitten has only won nine times in her 21 career races, but without a shadow of a doubt, she’s going to be the favorite in this one. She was the easy odds on favorite at the New York Handicap but finished fourth, which is a bit of a concern.
However, last year, she was beaten out in the Diana Stakes by just a neck and will clearly be better served to win this one.
Remember too, that Kitten's Queen is going to once again be coupled with Stephanie's Kitten, just as the two were in the New York Handicap in June.
When you're looking at the rest of the field, Tepin and Hard Not to Like are going to be the next two favorites, while My Miss Sophia and Lady Lara are going to end up being longshots.
Waltzing Matilda will have a nice price on her head as well, but it won't be quite as strong as it was when she pulled off the major upset in June’s New York Handicap at 23 to 1.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
The problem that we have with backing Stephanie's Kitten in this race is the fact that we have to carry along Kitten's Queen with us due to NYRA coupling rules. However, there is no doubt in our minds that Stephanie's Kitten is the best mare in this field at the Diana Stakes, and she is going to be worthy of being an odds-on favorite, especially when you're getting the bonus of having Kitten's Queen in the pairing as well.
Keep in mind that, though Stephanie's Kitten was beaten in the New York Handicap, she was ahead every step of the way and ran out of gas. That race was run at 1 1/4 miles, not the 1 1/8 miles this race will be run at. The Diana Stakes sets up perfectly for Stephanie's Kitten.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
My Miss Sophia won her last race, an allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park. She was also a 5 to 1 choice of the oddsmakers at the La Troien Handicap in May, her first race being trained by Bill Mott.
My Miss Sophia will probably be getting at least a 6 to 1 price on her head in this race, and that, for our money, is really strong on a frontrunner that pulled away from the field in her last race at this same distance.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Tough call, this one is. Depending upon the odds on Stephanie's Kitten and Kitten's Queen, we might choose to pass. It's hard to play any major odds-on favorite in a race like this with so many great fillies and mares.
We know that both Stephanie's Kitten and My Miss Sophia are going to start setting the pace in what should be a very fast run. The question we have is whether either of these two will tire out when being pushed by the other, as neither is used to being run hard out of the gates in a race this long.
In the end, My Miss Sophia might not be the better of the two ladies on the track, but she is going to have the better price on her head. We'll play for value on Saturday.
Play My Miss Sophia to win the Diana Stakes
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