A field of Ohio's best fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward, are set to wage war Saturday afternoon at ThistleDown, in the second running of the $75,000 Diana Stakes. The six furlong dash is scheduled as the eighth race on the program, with an approximate post time of 4:25 pm, ET. Of the 15 sprinters nominated, eight will break from the gate, with weight varying from 116 to 122 pounds.
Needmore Flattery—the undisputed “queen” of Ohio ovals, comes into the Diana fresh of a resounding victory in the $150,000 Best of Ohio Distaff at the Cleveland one-miler on Oct. 10, when she romped to a 2¼ victory with regular rider Luis Colon in the saddle. Tim Hamm trains the multiple stakes winner of $658,370, who has a 16-2-3 record from 26 career starts. The 4-year-old daughter of Flatter-Kiosk, by Left Banker was bred and is owned by Bruce Ryan and the Blazing Meadows Farm LLC, and is riding a five-race win streak coming into the Diana. Four of those last five wins have been stakes triumphs for the chestnut mare.
Needmore Flattery's stablemate Blazing Bling won the inaugural edition of this stake in 2014 and will be trying to add to her bankroll of $339,415. Owned by Blazing Meadows Farm LLC, Top Notch Racing and Sheltowee Farm, the 5-year-old daughter of Too Much Bling has nine lifetime wins, including scores in the 2012 Hoover and 2012 Miss Ohio Stakes at two, and the Mackey-Angenora Stakes this year. This grey homebred mare has seasonal earnings of $63,160 in 2015, with one win and two seconds.
Timefadesthepages—a 5-year-old Spring At Last daughter, is looking for her third straight victory and her fourth win of the season for trainer Jeffrey Greenhill and owner Michael Rosen. The dark bay mare won two Belterra allowances events—on Sept. 18 and Oct. 4—covering the six furlong tests handily, including winning the former by 7¼ lengths. Timefadesthepages has $117,693 in earnings with eight wins, four seconds and a trio of thirds from 24 starts.
Justalittlesmoke is a lightly-raced daughter of Smoke Glacken who has never been worse than third in any of her 11 starts. Trained by Robert Gorham for owner Marion Gorham, Justalittlesmoke is one of just two 3-year-olds in the Diana. Earlier this year she captured the Southern Park Stakes and the Austintown Filly Sprint at Mahoning Valley, and last year won the Galbreath and the Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes as a 2-year-old. A winner of $282,680, Justalittliesmoke was second to Needmore Flattery in the last meeting two weeks ago.
Zedonia, a 3-year-old Quien lass, won her last start on Sept.26 at Belterra, cruising to a near four-length win in a six furlong allowance event. The bay filly has a trio of wins, three seconds and a third in 16 career starts, with $63,781 in earnings. Zedonia is trained by Luis Jurado for owner John Elkins, who also bred the filly along with B. A. Man, Inc.
The veteran Floral Sky—who won last year's Scarlet & Gray Handicap—is still trying for her first win of 2015. The 5-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa-Floral Park, by Forest Wildcat was bred by Langsem Farm and is conditioned by Anthony Rini for Loooch Racing Stables, Inc. She did give Needmore Flattery a run for the money in the Pay The Man Stakes on Aug. 29, when she finished second to her rival. A winner of $152,372 lifetime, Floral Sky has three wins, three seconds and one third in 22 starts.
Loooch Racing Stable's Morant Bay hails from the Jeff Radosevich barn and is another who has been chasing Needmore Flattery all season. The 4-year-old Badge Of Silver mare, who was bred by Langsem Farm and Leslie Stone, has $142,068 in career earnings and is another trying for her first win of the year.
Crafty Blue Kat, a winner of $174,078 lifetime, is conditioned by her owner, Aaron West. The 4-year-old daughter of Crafty Shaw won the 2014 edition of the Scarlet & Gray Handicap and the 2013 Galbreath Stakes, and is a multiple allowance race winner. Lifetime she has four wins, five seconds and six thirds in 21 trips postward. Crafty Blue Kat was bred by Dr. D. W. Frazier.
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