Notes & Quotes From the G1 Diana Stakes: Sistercharlie

(Sistercharlie wins the G1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday / Coglianese Photo & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

Trainer Chad Brown (Sistercharlie — 1st):

“Another great performance from a great mare. She showed why she’s the best,” said Brown, who has also won the Diana with Lady Eli (2017), Dacita (2016) and Zagora (2011). “Peter made the decision to come back and race her another year. He’s a great sportsman and he loves seeing this horse run. We were going to start her campaign a little earlier in the year, and she got sick on us. We had to wait and he was very patient. She just hit all her works right leading up to this race.

“We had a nice pace setup from the stablemate and Johnny knows this mare so well,” he added. “He also did a great job. I loved where she was throughout the trip. I was worried she was going to be too far back coming off the layoff. She’s done that in some of her races where she was very far back. I was very comfortable where all my horses were on the backside. It set up as I expected with these three horses coming down the lane, particularly Sistercharlie more than likely running at Rushing Fall at the wire.”

Jockey John Velazquez (Sistercharlie):

“She normally breaks slow. I made sure to get her a nice position passing the wire for the first time, making sure that the other horse didn’t put me in behind her,” Velazquez said. “Javier’s horse was the one to beat in my eyes and once I was behind him and relaxed where I thought was in a good position, I bided my time a little bit. By the three-eighths pole, it was time to go, and I know she takes a bit to get going, so I’d rather go wide and get her going than to stay behind the other horses and not get there. It was a great effort by her.”

Trainer Chad Brown (Rushing Fall — 2nd):

“She ran a good race as well,” Brown said. “A mile and an eighth may be stretching it for her, and she went all the way to the wire with Sistercharlie. It’s unfortunate one of them had to lose, but that’s the way I do it. I want the horses to run against each other. I don’t want any speculation on who might have won, I just like to let them settle it on the track. They are two great horses and I’m sure you’ll see more Grade 1 wins from Rushing Fall as well.”

Trainer Chad Brown (Homerique — 3rd):

“It’s very special. We knew going into the race we had the top three choices, but then for all of them to run the way they did and finish one-two-three is remarkable,” Brown said.” It’s unfortunate any one of them had to lose. They all ran winning races, but that’s why we ran them. We wanted to settle it on the track.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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