In Italian racks a 100 Beyer for the Diana 

July 17, 2022

Early Voting confirmed for G2 Jim Dandy

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Chad Brown’s domination of the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana continued on Saturday when Peter Brant’s In Italian set a course record for nine furlongs over the Mellon turf course at Saratoga Race Course. 

The four-time Eclipse Award winning conditioner added a seventh Diana score to his ledger, including six of the last seven editions. Three of his previous Diana victresses have gone on to secure honors for Champion Turf Female, including Sistercharlie [2018], who also won the 2019 Diana, Lady Eli [2017] and Rushing Fall [2020]. Zagora, who gave Brown his first Grade 1 triumph in the 2011 Diana, was named Champion Turf Mare the following year. 

Saturday’s Diana saw a Brown superfecta as In Italian set torrid fractions up front and maintained her advantage into the stretch, fending off a late challenge by graded stakes-winning stablemate Technical Analysis (IRE) to win by 1 1/4-lengths in a course record 1:45.06. 

“I’m very fortunate to have those four horses able to participate,” Brown said. “Obviously it was a very short field, but I can’t control that. It’s just another memorable accomplishment for our team and a wonderful day at the races for a lot of friends and family. It’s certainly a day and a feat I’ll always remember.”

Entering the Diana off a third in the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game, In Italian was the longest shot of the Brown foursome at odds of 8-1, which included Grade 1 winners Bleecker Street and Rougir (FR) as well as Technical Analysis. But the 4-year-old Dubawi chestnut rose to the occasion when it mattered most, building on a consistent resume which also includes a triumph in the Grade 3 Honey Fox in March at Gulfstream Park. 

“I wouldn’t have run her if I didn’t think she had a chance to win,” Brown said. “I thought all four horses were really lined up and ready to run from whatever their individual styles were. Each horse had a plan and each horse a really fair shot to get their trip and do it. All of them got good trips. In Italian just found a way to rebreak at the top of the lane and kick on, which would’ve made it hard for any horse to catch her yesterday.” 

While In Italian flew in slightly under the radar, Klaravich Stables’ Technical Analysis arrived off a hand-ridden triumph in the Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico while bragging two graded stakes wins at the Spa last summer in the Grade 3 Lake George and Grade 2 Lake Placid. An unbeaten record in seven starts prior to the Diana made Brant’s Bleecker Street the favorite, but the daughter of Quality Road had to make up ten lengths finishing third. Rougir, owned by Brant and Michael Tabor, just missed third by a neck to complete the superfecta. 

Brown did not have any definite plans for their next starts but said that In Italian could wait for the Grade 1, $600,000 First Lady on October 8 at Keeneland, where the Breeders’ Cup will be held this year. He also indicated a possibility of a rematch between the top two Diana finishers in the Grade 2, $400,000 Ballston Spa on August 27 at Saratoga Race Course. 

Brown said Rougir will “maybe” target the Grade 1, $500,000 Beverly D. on August 12 at Churchill Downs, while Bleecker Street will likely return to action sometime in the fall. 

Bleecker Street, the lone American-bred filly in the field, captured the 10-furlong Grade 1 New York on June 10 ahead of the Diana, having won three other graded stakes events earlier this year. 

“I think to a mile and an eighth to a mile and a quarter, anywhere in that range is fine,” Brown said regarding Bleecker Street. “What I don’t want to do is run her three turns, I don’t think that’s her deal.”

For the past few years, Brown and his owners have gone to public auctions abroad in search of talented horses boasting strong turf pedigrees, including In Italian and Technical Analysis, both of whom were purchased at the 2019 Tattersalls October Sale. 

“It’s been a nice addition to cultivate our own horses from scratch, going and buying them and putting them in our system,” Brown said. “In recent years it became harder to buy horses that had already run a little bit, which we used to do more of earlier on in my career. With those horses being more challenging to purchase privately, we just started to have our own farm team of going and buying European-bred horses. You see the successful ones, and you get a batch of them and not every horse works out, but we’ve had tremendous success doing it and it’s something we’ll look to do more of for sure.”

Early Voting winning the Withers at Aqueduct Feb. 2, 2022. (Chelsea Durand)

Brown confirmed Klaravich Stables’ Early Voting for the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on July 30 at Saratoga. The Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner will square off against stablemate Zandon, who finished third in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby last out. 

Early Voting, a son of second crop stallion Gun Runner, was under consideration for the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on Saturday at Monmouth Park, a race where Brown will run talented sophomore Jack Christopher

“Early Voting is here, and he’ll be going in the Jim Dandy,” Brown said. “Jack Christopher looked great this morning and looked ready to go for the Haskell. At the end of the day, I was going to run two horses in one race and one in the other and I’d rather only run the one in the Haskell. I just didn’t see the benefit of putting Early Voting in a larger field against a really fast horse and what it might do to him five weeks out from the Travers.”

Brown worked a handful of stakes caliber horses on Sunday over the Oklahoma turf, including three-time Grade 1 winner Regal Glory, who went five furlongs in 1:02.11 in preparation for the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave on August 13 at Saratoga. 

The 6-year-old Animal Kingdom mare is unbeaten in three starts this year, including the Grade 3 Pegasus Filly and Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park, the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game at Belmont Park. 

“She breezed super,” Brown said. “She had been the workmate with In Italian in recent weeks. Her form is holding well. I am planning on waiting for the Fourstardave with her.”

Brown also worked graded stakes placed Higher Truth (IRE) [half-mile in 50.71] and dual graded stakes-winner Virginia Joy (GER) [five furlongs in 1:02.11] over the turf. Both fillies are on target for the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls on August 6 at Saratoga. 

Brown visited the winner’s circle the race after the Diana with Klaravich Stables’ sophomore Credit Event, who won a first level allowance optional claimer over the inner turf. The son of Not This Time could come back in the Grade 1, $1 million Caesars Saratoga Derby Invitational on August 6 at Saratoga. 

“The way he finished at a mile and an eighth against straight 3-year-olds, we’ll see how the Saratoga Derby comes up,” Brown said. “A mile and three-sixteenths is certainly his distance. If it comes up really tough, I wouldn’t throw him to the wolves and do that, but the distance of the race and the fact he can only run against 3-year-olds, those two things make sense.”

Brown added that he will take “a big step backwards” with Grade 1-placed Reinvestment Risk, who ran an uncharacteristic fifth in a seven-furlong allowance optional claimer on Saturday as the heavy favorite. The 4-year-old Upstart colt was previously second at Grade 1 level in the Carter at Aqueduct and the Churchill Downs at its namesake track. 

“He wasn’t acting right. He was a little quiet in the paddock and just ran flat,” Brown said. “I think he’s going to take a further evaluation. That was so unlike him. He’s been a model of consistency his whole career.”

Brown provided an update on Speak of the Devil (FR), who was an impressive winner of the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Distaff Turf Mile in May ahead of a fourth in the Just a Game. 

“She had a set back and she’s going to be on the shelf for a little while. I do expect her to come back in the fall, hopefully,” Brown said. 

NYRA Press Office
Photo of In Italian by Chelsea Durand

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