Diplomat Lady gets back to what she does best -- sprinting around one turn -- Saturday in Belmont Park's 59th running of the grade I, $250,000 Prioress Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
Diplomat Lady, a grade II sprint winner earlier this year, meets eight rivals in the Prioress.
By Forestry, Diplomat Lady has won four of nine starts for California-based trainer Christopher Paasch. Two of her victories were in the grade I Hollywood Starlet and Keeneland's grade II Beaumont.
"We've been thrilled with her," Paasch said. "She's already accomplished a lot, but to win another Grade 1 would be fantastic. I think she's set for a big summer."
Diplomat Lady is making her first start since finishing 13th in the May 5th Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), a race where she finished nearly 30 lengths behind longshot winner Lemons Forever. Paasch says he wanted to give Diplomat Lady plenty of time to get over the effort.
"That's exactly what we've done," he said. "We went back to square one with her and just went easy on her for a few weeks. We've gotten her back into the six-furlong mindset with her training and have put more speed into her. She's a Grade 1 winner going long, but we plan on leaving her in one-turn races for the summer and maybe most of the fall. We're going to do the typical Forestry with her."
Diplomat Lady breaks from post 7 with jockey Cornelio Velasquez aboard.
Expected to give Diplomat Lady a run for her money is Capote's Crown, who is well on her way toward emulating her older siblings Smoke Glacken and Smokey Glacken, who are both graded stakes winners at Belmont Park. Smoke Glacken was the 1997 sprint champion, and Smokey Glacken has won multiple grade IIs at Belmont.
Capote's Crown has lost just one of four races at Belmont Park. She is riding a two-race win streak into the Prioress after taking a May 4 allowance race and the June 9 Queen of Song. Capote's Crown is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, whose meet this season includes grade 1 victories with Jazil in the Belmont Stakes and Invasor in the Suburban Handicap.
PP -- HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WEIGHT
1--Silvestris, Tom Albertrani, Eibar Coa, 118
2--Misty Rosette, James Chapman, Garrett Gomez, 120
3--Wild Gams, Ben Perkins Jr., Mike Luzzi, 120
4--Wildcat Bettie B, Larry Jones, Mario Pino, 120
5--Capote's Crown, Kiaran McLaughlin, Kent Desormeaux, 118
6--Downthedustyroad, Bob Baffert, Mike Smith, 116
7--Diplomat Lady, Christopher Paasch, Cornelio Velasquez, 122
8--Livermore Valley, James Ryerson, Javier Castellano, 118
9--Win McCool, Bobby Barbara, Richard Migliore, 116