Another Godolphin 1-2 in the Diana

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Althiqa | Adam Coglianese

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In a virtual repeat of last month's GI Just A Game S. going Belmont's one-mile turf configuration, Godolphin's Althiqa (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Summer Romance (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) proved too strong for their American counterparts, this time in the nine-furlong GI Diana S. at Saratoga.

As she did downstate, Summer Romance cut out the running Saturday afternoon, tracked closest by GIII Eatontown S. victress Vigilantes Way (Medaglia d'Oro) through a solid opening couple of furlongs in :23.57 as Althiqa raced with just two rivals behind turning up the backstretch. Luis Saez was able to back the pace down some during the Diana's middle furlongs–the half-mile was posted in :48.17–and Summer Romance continued to hold Vigilantes Way at bay as they raced into the second turn. Harvey's Lil Goil (American Pharoah) caught the eye with a three-wide sweep leaving the three-eighths pole, but Althiqa was drafting in behind and following that one's move into the stretch. Produced off the heels of her fellow gray rival with about a furlong and a half to race, Althiqa grabbed Summer Romance at the sixteenth pole and was punched out by Manny Franco to score comfortably. La Signare (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) rallied to just touch Harvey's Lil Goil out of third.

“I just wanted to wait as long as I could, because I knew the distance was further than the last race,” said Franco, whose 2020 Spa season included Grade I wins aboard Tiz the Law (Consitution) in the GI Runhappy Travers S. and Channel Maker (English Channel) in the GI Sword Dancer S. “That was the question, but she did it. They didn't tell me much. They just told me to cover her [up] and follow somebody until I made my move. I think that was the key; that she was so relaxed behind horses and then she gave me a nice move and nice kick.”

A listed winner at Deauville and placed at group level at that venue, at Goodwood and at Doncaster last year, Althiqa returned from a September layoff to post a stylish victory–with Summer Romance fifth–in the G2 Cape Verdi S. at Meydan Jan. 28 before finishing third to her stable companion in the G2 Balanchine S. three weeks hence. Racing first-up for 3 1/2 months in the Just A Game, Althiqa settled well off pacesetting Summer Romance and rallied at the rail in the final eighth of a mile beneath Mike Smith to score by 3/4 of a length.

Pedigree Notes:

Althiqa is one of eight top-level winners, and–remarkably–three of those have achieved those victories in the U.S., Raging Bull (Fr) and Hunt (Ire) being the others. Dark Angel is the sire of one of the world's fleetest turf horses, Battaash (Ire), who could face an American challenge in the form of Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) in next month's G1 Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe S. over a straight five furlongs at York. The Yeomanstown Stud inmate is also the sire of Godolphin's 4-year-old colt Real World (Ire), impressive winner of the Listed Steventon S. at Newbury Saturday.

Mistrusting is the dam of Althiqa's 2-year-old full-sister Before Dawn (Ire), second on Newmarket debut in May and a narrowly beaten runner-up over the Kempton all-weather when last seen June 30. She produced a Dark Angel colt last year and a filly by Kodiac (GB) this term.

Saturday, Saratoga
DIANA S.-GI, $500,000, Saratoga, 7-17, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8mT, 1:47.65, gd.
1--ALTHIQA (GB), 122, f, 4, by Dark Angel (Ire)
                1st Dam: Mistrusting (Ire) (SW-Eng, $120,206),
                                by Shamardal
                2nd Dam: Misheer (GB), by Oasis Dream (GB)
                3rd Dam: All For Laura (GB), by Cadeaux Genereux (GB)
O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charles Appleby; J-Manuel Franco.
$275,000. Lifetime Record: GSW-UAE, MGSP-Eng, SW &
GSP-Fr, 11-6-2-3, $741,213. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Summer Romance (Ire), 120, f, 4, by Kingman (GB)
                1st Dam: Serena's Storm (Ire), by Statue of Liberty
                2nd Dam: Princess Serena, by Unbridled's Song
                3rd Dam: Serena's Sister, by Rahy
(300,000gns Ylg '18 TATOCT; €800,000 2yo '19 ARQMA).
O-Godolphin, LLC; B-Round Hill Stud (IRE); T-Charles Appleby.
$100,000.
3–La Signare (Fr), 118, m, 6, by Siyouni (Fr)
                1st Dam: La Teranga (Fr), by Beat Hollow (GB)
                2nd Dam: Adrastea (Ire), by Monsun (Ger)
                3rd Dam: Akasma (Ger), by Windwurf (Ger)
O-Madaket Stables LLC, Tim & Anna Cambron & Bradley
Thoroughbreds; B-Moussa Mbacke (FR); T-Brendan P. Walsh.
$60,000.
Margins: 3/4, 1 3/4, NK. Odds: 3.95, 2.70, 16.40.
Also Ran: Harvey's Lil Goil, Pocket Square (GB), Magic Attitude (GB), Vigilantes Way, Lemista (Ire).
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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