Diamond Diva Digs Deep in CashCall Mile
Ridden by David Flores, Diamond Diva reached out in the final couple of strides and with a final lunge to the wire just nipped Ventura, who had swooped to the lead on the outside near the sixteenth pole under Garrett Gomez and had a neck advantage approaching the finish. Lady of Venice, the 3-2 favorite who won the CashCall Mile last year, was in striking distance of the lead in the stretch, but settled for third, 2 1/4 lengths behind.
"The other filly went by us by a neck, but (Diamond Diva) said, 'It's not over yet,' " Flores said. "I couldn't tell (who won); it was so close. I didn't know if I'd catch her, but I'll take the win."
The winning time for the filly and mare event was a solid 1:34.07
Diamond Diva, a Great Britain-bred import trained by James Cassidy, earned $425,000 for owner Three Chimneys Racing with her third U.S. victory in four starts. The 4-year-old daughter of Dansili won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) on opening day at Hollywood Park with an impressive late burst. She ran second to Precious Kitten after setting a fast pace in the May 26 Gamely (gr. IT), also on the Hollywood lawn.
In the CashCall Mile, which is sponsored by J. Paul Reddam's lending company, Diamond Diva settled into a stalking spot racing third on the outside as La Tee set the early pace. With Cassidy stablemate Passified pushing the pacesetter, the fractions were :24.25 for the opening quarter mile and :47.60 for the half. Passified overtook La Tee as they completed six furlongs in 1:10.77, but Diamond Diva, moving easily on her outside, edged to the lead mid-stretch. The advantage, however, was short-lived as Ventura unwound a big run and appeared to have things her way until Diamond Diva re-ignited on the inside.
Diamond Diva's career earnings jumped to $721,603 with her sixth win in 16 starts.
Sent off as the third choice in the field of seven, Diamond Diva paid $6.60, $3.80, and $2.40, topping a $2 exacta of $18.80 with second favorite Ventura ($3.40, $2.20), who won Belmont Park's Just A Game (gr. IT) over Lady of Venice last time out for trainer Bobby Frankel. Lady of Venice, ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, was $2.10 to show.
Passified, Super Freaky, Wake Up Maggie, and La Tee completed the order of finsh.
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