Saratoga Racetrack: Grade 1 Diana Predictions

Joseph CiracoCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2012

Ramon Dominguez and Zagora are the pick.
Ramon Dominguez and Zagora are the pick.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Rain is the in forecast at Saratoga, but it will have no impact on the actual race. Zagora, the five-year-old filly for trainer Chad Brown will dominate the nine furlong race.

Zagora is coming off an impressive win at Pimlico, where she won with relative ease on May 19. This mare has had two solid workouts over the lawn at Saratoga and will pick up top jockey Ramon Dominguez.

The main threat is 9-5 morning line favorite Winter Memories, who has seven wins in 11 career starts on the turf. Javier Castellano picked this four-year-old filly over Zagora, so you know she's going to be tough to beat.

I really would like Hungry Island to run well, despite a disappointing performance in her last race, an eight furlong race at Belmont on June 9. John Velazquez returned from his collarbone injury yesterday and keeps the mount.

Tapitsfly is the only true speed in this race but I don't think the one-and-one-eighth mile distance is her best, so I expect her to start to falter in the stretch. Most of her recent wins have been at one mile, so she'll be tested late.

Hungry Island is dangerous and will be even more of a threat if the track has a lot of moisture. In her one lone start at Saratoga over a wet turf, she dominated the Grade Two Lake Placid by over two lengths. I expect her to be last early and make one big move.

Winter Memories is the class of the race and should be close to the lead. Despite finishing second in her last race, Winter Memories had a 59.4 bullet work on July 23 and should be the first to challenge Tapitsfly.

Zagora will probably sit right behind Winter Memories and will move once Winter Memories does.

The rain will only impact the time of the race, not the results.

Zagora will win by three-quarters of a length over Winter Memories. Hungry Island will finish third and Tapitsfly will run a game fourth in 1:52.4.