The daughter of Tapit grabbed the lead in the first quarter and never relinquished her position in the $113,800 turf contest, which was the seventh race on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard. In the process of her 1 1/2-length triumph, Diva Ash, trained by Dale Romans for Ahmed Zayat’s Zayat Stables, notched her second career victory from just three starts.
Breaking from post 2 under jockey Kent Desormeaux, Diva Ash’s long, fluid stride worked in her favor in the final furlongs of the Edgewood, as she managed to hold off a late bid from the Ken McPeek-trained Sassy's Dream, who tried to catch her while racing along the rail for jockey Alan Garcia. Smart Sting, the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight, was a half-length farther back in third.
Early fractions were :24.87, :50.92, and 1:15.60 over a turf listed as "good." Diva Ash, who led by three lengths at mid-stretch, finished the 1 1/16-mile turf contest in 1:45.93.
"Handicapping the race ahead of time I knew there wasn't going to be a lot speed," Romans said. "Kent came to the paddock and asked permission to let her run away from the gate if no one went with her and we said it would be fine. It ended up perfect because they were going so slow and he was out there. He just had too much horse left."
"It worked out really well," Desormeaux agreed. "We thought if we could get the easy lead, take it. But I tell you, she was pressured all the way from the half-mile pole. She had to run so she was very capable. The pressure came at the half-mile pole and she was ready for the action."
Despite being lightly raced prior to the Edgewood, Diva Ash went off as the 7-2 second choice. She had broken her maiden by two lengths at Gulfstream Park Feb. 23, and then finished second by a length in an allowance optional claimer at the South Florida track March 26. All of her races have been on turf.
She earned $68,439 for the victory.
Out of the Boundary mare Positioning, Diva Ash was bred in Kentucky by Tom Van Meter and sold for $110,000 as a Keeneland September yearling in 2009. She paid $9, $5, and $3.40. Sassy’s Dream paid $9.20 and $5.40, and Smart String, ridden by Javier Castellano, returned $2.80 to show.