INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 1, 2009) — Diamond Diva, winner of the 2008 CashCall Mile here in her last start ten months ago, will make her return to the races as the 120-pound high weight in Saturday’s $100,000 Wilshire Handicap at Hollywood Park.
The Grade III Wilshire — at one mile on turf for fillies and mares — is the feature event on the Kentucky Derby Day program. Hollywood Park will import the entire card from Churchill Downs beginning at 7:30 a.m. The Wilshire will run as the 11th race on the 12-race Hollywood Park card, which begins at 11 a.m.
Diamond Diva, owned by Three Chimneys Racing and trained by Jim Cassidy, scored a thrilling nose victory over Ventura in the 2008 CashCall Mile with defending champion Lady of Venice finishing third.
Ventura passed Diamond Diva in mid-stretch, but she re-rallied under jockey David Flores to win for the third time in just four U.S. starts. A winner of three stakes in 2008, her lone setback was a second to highly-regarded Precious Kitten here in the Grade I Gamely. She was sidelined with a suspensory injury following the CashCall Mile in early July.
Diamond Diva, a 5-year-old mare who began her career in England, enters the Wilshire with six wins in 16 starts for earnings of $721,603. She will break from the inside post under Flores in the field of nine, which lines up as follows:
Diamond Diva, Flores up, 120 pounds; Miss Singhsix, Alex Solis, 115; Belmont Cat, Joel Rosario, 117; In My Glory, Martin Garcia, 112; Kayd Kodaun, Jose Valdivia Jr., 113; Charming Legacy, Tyler Baze, 114; Gorgeous Goose, Corey Nakatani, 113; Tizfiz, Agapito Delgadillo, 116, and Bel Air Sizzle, Michael Baze, 116.
New Zealand-bred Belmont Cat has won two of three U.S. starts, the most recent victory coming at 1 1/8 miles on turf in the Grade II Santa Ana Handicap. The 5-year-old chestnut has won four of ten starts overall for earnings of $156,526.
Bel Air Sizzle, winner of the Melair through disqualification here a year ago when she also finished second in the Honeymoon Handicap and the Del Mar Oaks, is the richest horse in the field with earnings of $460,366. She has won five of 20 starts, including four of 17 on turf.
Tizfiz has won a pair of stakes including the Grade II San Gorgonio Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on turf in January for trainer Rafael DeLeon since being claimed for $50,000 in October. The 5-year-old daughter of Tiznow is five-for-14 with earnings of $251,160.
Gorgeous Goose, winner of the 2007 Blue Norther at Santa Anita, was beaten a nose in her final start of 2008 in the Harold C. Ramser Handicap. She won an optional claimer in the 2009 bow and was fifth most recently in the Las Cienegas Handicap.
Miss Singhsix enters following a second in the Santa Lucia Handicap on the main track at Santa Anita; In My Glory set the pace before fading to fifth in the Santa Ana; Kayd Kodaun finished fourth in the Santa Lucia, and Charming Legacy enters with four wins and six seconds in 13 starts.
Track gates will open at 7 a.m. for the Derby Day program.
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