Xtreme Diva a Determined Winner of Dixie Belle

February 17, 2024

Xtreme Diva gets her nose down to win the Dixie Belle (Coady Photography)

By Robert Yates – Oaklawn Park

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.— Xtreme Diva notched her second career stakes victory after outlasting Blue Squall in the $150,000 Dixie Belle for 3-year-old filly sprinters Saturday at Oaklawn.

Ridden by Eduardo Gallardo, Xtreme Diva ($6.60) finished a nose ahead of Blue Squall, with 2-1 favorite Tanya Showers 1 ½ lengths farther back in third. Xtreme Smoke Show and Sharp Tune, the early leader, completed the order of finish in the compact field, reduced to five following scratches of program favorite Ghalia Princess, Happy N Smiling and Pinotslilgirl.

Fourth early, Xtreme Diva advanced to the leaders with a four-wide bid turning for home and gained a narrow advantage over Blue Squall in midstretch. Xtreme Diva and Blue Squall, on the inside, matched strides to the wire.

Winning for the fourth time in six starts, the Minnesota-bred daughter of Coal Front, covered six furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.78 and raised her lifetime earnings to $255,642.

In addition to a Feb. 2 allowance race at Oaklawn, Xtreme Diva won the $100,000 Northern Lights Debutante Stakes for Minnesota-bred fillies Sept. 9 at Canterbury Park in suburban Minneapolis.

Xtreme Diva and Xtreme Smoke Show, also trained by Robertson, are owned by Minnesota-based Xtreme Racing Stables of Vicki McGowan. Xtreme Diva became the third Dixie Belle winner for Robertson.

Racing resumes Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (Central).

Dixie Belle Quotes

Winning jockey Eduardo Gallardo (Xtreme Diva): “I broke and remained patient. At the three-eighths pole, I took her out a little bit. In the stretch, she ran well.”

Winning trainer Mac Robertson (Xtreme Diva): “She ran hard. I was glad the horse she was going with (Blue Squall) didn’t switch leads. We got kind of a lucky bob. The way the meet’s going, we’ll take it. I was worried when we went in :46 and 2/5 (opening half-mile time). She was fourth and parked out wide. But she got there. That’s what’s important.”

“For a unique and real perspective on horse racing, I read Jonathan Stettin’s column Past the Wire.” Bob Baffert, Multiple Triple Crown winner, Eclipse Award winner, Hall of Fame Champion Trainer

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