Irish filly takes aim at Lake George

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Fozzy Stack took a long deep drag on his cigarette and walked toward the end of the barn where assistant Craig Allen was grazing Lake George hopeful Diamond Fields Thursday morning. The bay filly stood still and stared across the paddock fence.  

“It’s obviously a long journey to get here, but she seems to have taken it quite well,” said Stack, assistant and son of Diamond Fields’ trainer Tommy Stack. “She looks well, we haven’t done anything serious with her since we got here, hopefully she produces.”

Diamond Fields rides a four-race losing streak into the Lake George, but those losses can be forgiven. After winning once as a 2-year-old, Diamond Fields returned in April to finish second twice against the boys and fourth in the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes in June.

Those races kept her handicap mark low enough for the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot June 15. Stretching to a mile for the first time and facing 20 rivals, Diamond Fields   lacked room but closed to finish second at 33-1. That’s when the wheels began to turn on a jaunt to Saratoga.

 “Just after at Ascot, we thought about coming here, there’s a program here generally where she can take on her own age group, at home you’re taking on the older girls the whole time,” Stack said. “She’ll go back eventually, we might keep her here for the meet, depending on how she does, we’ll see what happens.”

The Stacks have been here before. Well, Tommy Stack was here in the 70’s riding jumpers for Joy Valentine and Burley Cocks. As for training, Tommy and Fozzy engineered a win by Waltzing Matilda in last year’s Grade 2 New York Stakes at Belmont Park. They sold Waltzing Matilda to St. Elias Stable after the race.

Owner Mary Slack, from South Africa, won’t be selling Diamond Fields.

“She’s very sporting, she likes travel, she won’t be here but it’s very sporting of her,” Stack said. “She’s a laid-back filly, she seems really happy here. She looks well, it’s the longest she’s gone without a race since Ascot. She wants fast ground, the ground wasn’t that soft in Ascot on the straight track, it was similar to this.”

To read the rest of the Lake George preview download Friday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland Sales.