Hard Not To Like wins the Diana
Hard Not To Like got up in the final jumps to win the $500,000 Diana Stakes by a nose on Saturday at Saratoga. Sent off at odds of 6/1, Hard Not To Like (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was fourth early on as long shot Kitten’s Queen (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went out to set the pace. Both My Miss Sophia and Tepin applied moderate pressure to Kitten’s Queen as Hard Not To Like was right in behind them. Stephanie’s Kitten (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection), the race favorite, was some ten lengths behind Hard Not To Like in fifth. As they turned for home it looked like 26/1 Kitten’s Queen might pull an upset as she led deep into the stretch. But a final surge from Hard Not To Like and John Velazquez allowed them to get up and win by a nose over Tepin who also passed Kitten’s Queen late.
In the Sanford Stakes it was Uncle Vinny (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who got promoted to the win after 13/1 Magna Light (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) was disqualified from first to third after ducking out in mid-stretch and interfering with Percolator. Magna Light was on the lead the whole way and was never headed but Uncle Vinny rallied from off the pace and snatched second late from Percolator who finished third. But because of the interference in the stretch, Magna Light was disqualified from first and placed third.
Catch a Flight up in time to take the San Diego Handicap
Catch a Flight needed every yard of the mile and one eighth San Diego Handicap to get the win as he got up in the final jumps to score. Sent off as the 3/1 second choice, Catch a Flight (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) sat a garden trip just in behind Bayern and Appealing Tale (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) as those two slugged it out on the front end. They went into the turn as one and put four lengths on Catch a Flight as they came to the top of the lane. Appealing Tale started to edge clear at the top of the stretch but Gary Stevens and Catch a Flight got closer and closer and in the final jumps put their nose in front to get the win. Appealing Tale finished up in second while Bayern ran third.
In the Fleet Treat Stakes it was Big Book (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Rafael Bejarano who win with ease. Sent off as the 7/2 second choice, Big Book was forwardly placed early on and edged away from Kiss at Midnight (BetPTC.com Longshot) in mid-stretch to win by two and a quarter lengths. Kiss at Midnight held on for second while race favorite Sheer Drama (BetPTC.com Top Selection) could only manage third.
Uchenna rallies late to win the Ontario Matron
Uchenna flew late to get up and win the $150,000 Ontario Matron on Saturday at Woodbine. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Uchenna and Alan Garcia were back in fifth early on as Skylander Girl (BetPTC.com Top Selection) set the early fractions. Skylander Girl kicked on as they came for home and looked like she might steal it, but as she tired in the final sixteenth both Uchenna and Strut the Course (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) passed her, with Uchenna edging away by three quarters of a length to get the win. Strut the Course was second with Skylander Girl finishing up in third.
In the Colin Stakes it was Ryker and Jesse Campbell who won in wire to wire fashion, taking the $125,000 by half a length. Ryker faced mild pressure from The Zip Zip Man (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who was second the entire way around but just could not push on by.