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Brown tries to keep Diana streak alive with Lemista, Pocket Square

David Grening Jul 14, 2021

Pocket Square wins an April 7 allowance race at Keeneland Race Course

Coady Photography Pocket Square, here winning an allowance at Keeneland in April, tries to give Chad Brown a sixth consecutive victory in the Diana on Saturday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Chad Brown will have two shots at winning a sixth straight Diana Stakes.

Brown on Wednesday entered both Lemista and Pocket Square in Saturday’s $500,000 Diana, the first Grade 1 of the Saratoga meet. The Diana, run at 1 1/8 miles on turf for fillies and mares, drew a field of eight, including the Godolphin Racing duo of Althiqa and Summer Romance, the 1-2 finishers of the Grade 1 Just a Game at Belmont on June 5.

Brown’s streak of Diana success began in 2016 with Dacita and has followed with Lady Eli (2017), Sistercharlie (2018 and 2019), and Rushing Fall last year. Brown also won the Diana in 2011 with Zagora.

Lemista, a Group 2 winner in Ireland last July, has raced once for Brown, finishing second to Harvey’s Lil Goil in the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes at Belmont on May 8.

“I would have rather not waited this long to run her, but I didn’t want to squeeze a race in between,” Brown said of the 10 weeks between races.

Brown believes the 1 1/16 miles of the Beaugay was a bit short for Lemista and that she was gaining on Harvey’s Lil Goil late.

“She was getting to her,” he said. “She needed that one race off the break. Looking for her to move forward.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. rides Lemista, a 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Raven’s Pass.

Pocket Square, a 4-year-old Great Britain-bred daughter of Night of Thunder, won a second-level allowance at Keeneland in April before finishing fifth as the favorite in the Just a Game. Brown said Pocket Square missed a work prior to the Just a Game that Brown thinks might have impacted her performance, and that she didn’t like the “good” turf course.

The field for the Diana, in post order, is: La Signare, Pocket Square, Magic Attitude, Vigilantes Way, Harvey’s Lil Goil, Summer Romance, Lemista, and Althiqa.

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