The task that faced the two would-be upsetter of Chad Brown’s four-cornered entry in Saturday’s Diana Stakes looked difficult at best.
One corner contained a champion and Breeders’ Cup winner in Sistercharlie. Another featured a Breeders’ Cup winner in the once-beaten Rushing Fall. Still another included Homerique, not quite the class of the two above but still unbeaten in her two U.S. starts in graded stakes. Finally came Thais, a speedy stakes-placed mare entered to keep the pace honest.
Did someone say tall order?
The presence of that quartet in the opening Grade 1 stakes of the 2019 Saratoga Race Course meeting proved too much as Brown swept the trifecta with Sistercharlie defending her title with a 1 3/4 length victory over Rushing Fall with Homerique another neck back in third. Secret Message and Mitchell Road, the two in the field that do not go to Brown’s Horse Haven barn on the Oklahoma Training Track Saturday night, finished fourth and fifth with only the tired pacesetter behind them in the $500,000 stakes.
“We knew going into the race we had the top three choices, but then for all of them to run the way they did and finish 1-2-3 is remarkable,” said Brown, winning his fourth straight Diana and fifth overall. “It’s unfortunate any one of them had to lose. They all ran winning races, but that’s why we ran them. We wanted to settle it on the track.”
To read the rest of the Diana recap, download Sunday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.