Diversy Harbor won the China Doll Stakes on March 8.

Diversy Harbor won the China Doll Stakes on March 8.

Benoit Photo

Diversy Harbor Leads Well-Matched Providencia

Narrow China Doll winner faces Nashoba's Gold again in 3-year-old filly grass event.

Diversy Harbor, who rallied from ninth in the stretch to edge Nashoba's Gold in the China Doll Stakes, will face her rival again on the Santa Anita Park turf in the $150,000 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) April 5.

Glen Hill Farm's daughter of of Curlin  is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Tom Proctor coming into the 1 1/8-mile Providencia, which attracted a field of 10 sophomore fillies. The race is the seventh on Saturday's card, immediately preceding the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). It is scheduled to go off at about 3 p.m. PDT.

Diversy Harbor was a handy 2 3/4-length winner of her maiden special weight debut Jan. 26 over Santa Anita's hillside turf course at about 6 1/2 furlongs, then stretched out to two turns March 8 in the one-mile China Doll. Well back in the 13-horse field, she rallied five wide in the stretch, out-kicking Nashoba's Gold to prevail by half a length in a time of 1:34.36. The bay filly will start from post 8 for the third straight time.

Gary Stevens has ridden Diversy Harbor in each of her starts for Proctor, who also entered Savings Account. The gray/roan daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  closed much ground while finishing seventh in the China Doll, her first start since missing by a head to Providencia entrant Full Ransom in the one-mile Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 30 at Hollywood Park. Mike Smith rides her again.

DP Racing's Full Ransom will carry top weight of 123 pounds, five more than each of her rivals, as the only graded stakes winner in the field. Trained by Jim Cassidy, the Full Mandate filly never got untangled in the China Doll after a slow start and traffic trouble in the stretch. She finished 12th in her first start since since a runner-up effort in the listed Blue Norther at Santa Anita Jan. 1. Kent Desormeaux has the return mount from post 5.

Nashoba's Gold, a half sister to three-time grade I winner Nashoba's Key, won her debut from off the pace at the Providencia distance Feb. 8 on the Santa Anita lawn. Warren Williamson's homebred daughter of Smart Strike nearly pulled out the China Doll as well, rallying five wide in the stretch and fighting gamely between horses to come up just short. Carla Gaines trains the gray/roan filly who drew post 4 and will be ridden once more by Joe Talamo.

Two fillies that began their careers in Europe, the British-bred Margot Machance and Practising, also bear watching.

Winless in four starts in France, Alfred Pais’s Margot Machance rallied from off the pace to win her U.S. debut March 15 for trainer Leonard Powell in a one mile maiden special weight on turf. Like several others in the Providencia, she’d prefer a fast pace and could improve stretching out a furlong. The daughter of Creachadoir again will be ridden by Julien Couton.

Trainer Paddy Gallagher's Practising had a pair of seconds in her two starts in England, then won her U.S. debut by one length going a mile on the Santa Anita turf Jan. 18. The Rail Link miss was fourth, beaten three lengths as the 8-5 favorite, in a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance March 13. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Practising will again get the services of leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

Reddam Racing's One More is the speed of the field off back-to-back front-running victories for trainer Doug O'Neill. She most recently captured a a first-level allowance at nine furlongs March 13 by 1 1/2 lengths under steady handling from Mario Gutierrez, who rides her back. The Holy Bull filly must overcome the outside post.

Dispatched at 89-1, the Tim McCanna-trained Tiz Kissable rallied to finish third, beaten by 1 1/2 lengths, in the China Doll.

$150,000 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Soresca (IRE), C Sutherland Kruse, 118, J M Cassidy
2. Practising (GB), R Bejarano, 118, P Gallagher
3. Tiz Kissable (KY), T Baze, 118, T McCanna
4. Nashoba's Gold (KY), J Talamo, 118, C Gaines
5. Full Ransom (FL), K J Desormeaux, 123, J M Cassidy
6. Savings Account (KY), M E Smith, 118, T F Proctor
7. Margot Machance (GB), J Couton, 118, L Powell
8. Diversy Harbor (KY), G L Stevens, 118, T F Proctor
9. Kukaluka (CA), V Espinoza, 118, P Miller
10. One More (KY), M Gutierrez, 118, D F O'Neill