Whitebeam (outside) bests stablemate In Italian in the Diana (NYRA/Coglianese)
NYRA Press Office
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— Juddmonte’s Whitebeam garnered a career-high 96 Beyer Speed Figure when providing trainer Chad Brown with his eighth triumph in Saturday’s 85th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana at Saratoga Race Course.
Piloted by Flavien Prat, Whitebeam tracked the early foot of stablemate and defending winner In Italian. The Brown-trained pair engaged in a stretch duel with In Italian maintaining command until the final strides to the wire before Whitebeam got her nose down first in a final time of 1:48.33.
Brown, who also saddled graded-stakes winners Marketsegmentation [4th] and Fluffy Socks [5th] in the Diana, has captured seven of the last eight runnings of the prestigious nine-furlong turf test for older fillies and mares. After winning his first Diana in 2011 with the following year’s Champion Grass Mare Zagora, Brown saddled Dacita  as well as eventual Champion Grass Mares Lady Eli , Sistercharlie [2018-19] and Rushing Fall .
Whitebeam was the highest odds of Brown’s four Diana entrants, returning $17.60 for a $2 win wager. The same could be said for In Italian [$18.60] when she led a Brown-trained superfecta in winning last year’s Diana.
“It goes to show you, particularly at Saratoga, anything can happen,” Brown said. “This is a very particular course and a tight track and the weather is always a huge variable this time of year up in the northeast. When you have all the top jockeys in a race and get top horses, and top trainers it often makes for some upsets.”
Brown expressed a sense of pride in both Whitebeam and In Italian.
“She showed a lot of heart,” Brown said of Whitebeam. “She tackled the top turf mare in training right now and was able to put a nose on her right near the wire. It was a hard-fought race and she ran terrific. Both horses ran great. She did have the benefit of a six-pound weight advantage, which might have helped her in a matter of inches nearing the wire, but it doesn’t take anything away from her performance and how well she ran.”
After being campaigned in her native Great Britain by Harry and Roger Charlton, Whitebeam arrived at Brown’s primary winter division at Payson Park in Florida earlier this year and immediately impressed her four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner. She made her debut for Brown when a troubled second in the one-mile Plenty of Grace in April at Aqueduct before defeating next-out stakes winners Sopran Basilea and Bipartisanship in the Grade 3 Gallorette on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.
“As soon as we put her into a work schedule, every work was outstanding,” Brown recalled. “She’s a sound, smooth and powerful horse with a lot of class. She really is a lovely filly and she always acted like she was top class.”
Following the Diana, Brown mentioned the Grade 1, $750,000 First Lady on October 7 at Keeneland as a possible target for both Whitebeam and In Italian, but said nothing has yet been set in stone.
“Not sure yet. We’ll see how all of them train out of here and talk to all the individual owners and propose what I think is best,” Brown said.
Whitebeam is out of the Oasis Dream mare Sleep Walk, who is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Logician and graded stakes winner Suffused. She comes from the same family as Group 2 winner and prominent European sire Bated Breath. Whitebeam and In Italian are both direct descendants of influential matriarch Best in Show.
On Friday, Brown earned his first stakes win of the meet when saddling Klaravich Stables’ Randomized to a 1 1/2-length score in the Wilton for sophomore fillies going one-mile over the main track. The Nyquist bay made amends from a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Acorn in June at Belmont.
“I’m not sure whether we go on in distance or cut back. That’s a decision I’ll make in the weeks to come,” Brown said. “I’m not sure what happened at Belmont, whether she didn’t like the track, the dirt in her face or what. But she had trained very well.”
Randomized is out of the Elusive Quality mare French Passport, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winning millionaire Smooth Air. She was bought for $420,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.