Proctor’s Ledge will have at least one thing in her favor when she takes on trainer Chad Brown’s arsenal of three Grade 1 winners in Saturday’s $500,000 Diana Stakes, the first Grade 1 race at Saratoga this year.
She loves the course.
Proctor’s Ledge went 2 for 2 at Saratoga last summer, beating Brown-trained runners in both the Grade 3 Lake George and Grade 2 Lake Placid stakes. Proctor’s Ledge has finished behind Brown-trained runners in three of four starts since then, including a second-place finish behind A Raving Beauty in the Grade 1 Just a Game at Belmont last month.
Brendan Walsh, the trainer of Proctor’s Ledge, noted that his filly gave A Raving Beauty six pounds in the one-mile Just a Game. Proctor’s Ledge will be getting two pounds from A Raving Beauty on Saturday.
“She ran super; she gave weight to everybody as well,” Walsh said. “She might have found the [one-turn] mile a little too sharp for her.”
The Diana is run at 1 1/8 miles, a distance at which Proctor’s Ledge won the Lake Placid.
John Velazquez, who rode Proctor’s Ledge to victory in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs in May and in the Just a Game, is committed to riding Sistercharlie in the Diana. Jose Ortiz has picked up the mount on Proctor’s Ledge, who will break from post 2.
In addition to A Raving Beauty, who drew post 6, Brown will run Sistercharlie (post 1), the winner of the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley in April, and New Money Honey (post 3), the 2017 Belmont Oaks winner.
War Canoe, a recent New York-bred allowance winner, drew post 4; Ultra Brat, the winner of the Grade 3 Gallorette over a bog at Pimlico, drew post 5; and Hawksmoor, a multiple graded stakes winner who finished fifth in the Grade 1 Gamely at Santa Anita last out, drew post 7.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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