Diamond Fever has won four races in a row. But the 3-year-old son of Seeking the Gold-Radiant Ring will get his stiffest test yet Sept. 2, when he tries graded stakes company for the first time in the $100,000 Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Saratoga turf.
Most recently, Diamond Fever took the Stanton Stakes at Delaware Park July 21, coming from off the pace to win by a half-length. Before that, the Double K Kentucky-bred colt captured three consecutive allowance races, all in Delaware. In each win he stalked the field and outran rivals in the stretch. He has placed in eight of nine lifetime starts.
Trained by Michael Matz and owned by Helen Alexander, and Sarah and Jon Kelly, Diamond Fever will have to step up his game to beat the field of 11 in the 1 3/16-mile Saranac, many of them graded stakes tested. Jose Caraballo will ride.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will come from Distorted Reality, who has tried three graded stakes, placing in two. Most recently the Distorted Humor -Christy Love colt missed by three-quarters of a length in the Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Aug. 6. Before that, the Centaur Farms homebred took the Lexington Stakes by a half-length.
Todd Pletcher trains Distorted Reality, who will carry a race-high 121 pounds.
John O’Connor’s Ambassador was just a neck back of Distorted Reality in the Hall of Fame Stakes and is two-for-five with a pair of second-place finishes since being switched to the turf in May by trainer Bernardo Callejas. The son of Acatenango was bred in Germany.
Another factor in the Saranac could be Pays to Dream, a High Yield-Changing Ways colt who took the Glow Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 4. Bred in New York by December Hill Inc., Pays to Dream has won four of six turf starts. One of the losses was to Distorted Reality in the Lexington, a fourth-place finish.
Chaluiwitcane, a Florida-bred colt trained by Nerio Vargas, will try to end his bridesmaid tag, as the gelding has finished second in four consecutive stakes.
Mysterious Peintre, Senor Enrico, Mission Approved, La Neige, Blazing Dynamo and Giant Chieftan round out the field.
$100,000 Saranac Stakes(gr. IIIT, Race 9, 5:16 p.m.), 3-year-Olds, 1 3/16-Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Mysterious Peintre (FR), 119, Garrett K. Gomez
2. Senor Enrico (FL), 117, Alan Garcia
3. Mission Approved (NY), 117, Eibar Coa
4. Chaluiwitcane (FL), 117, Rafael Bejarano
5. Pays to Dream (NY), 119, Javier Castellano
6. La Neige (GB), 117, Ramon A. Dominguez
7. Distorted Reality (FL), 121, John R. Velazquez
8. Diamond Fever (KY), 119, Jose C. Caraballo
9. Ambassador (GER), 117, Cornelio H. Velasquez
10. Blazing Dynamo (KY), 117, Kent J. Desormeaux
11. Giant Chieftan (KY), 117, Edgar S. Prado