Two of the past three winners of the Grade 1 Beverly D. have gone on to win an Eclipse Award as champion turf female.
With six Grade 1 winners entered in this year’s $750,000 1 3/16-miles race today at Arlington International Racecourse, a win would mark a big step toward the statue.
The Grade 1 Diana Stakes is the key race leading into the Beverly D. with winner Somali Lemonade facing four other foes from that contest, including fellow Grade 1 winners and runner-up Stephanie’s Kitten, eighth-place Alterite, ninth-place Emollient, and 10th-place Tannery.
The Diana quintet will face an international contingent of Qatar Racing & the Sangster family’s classic winner Just The Judge, Augustin Stable’s Group 3 winner Sparkling Beam, and Team Valor’s Coronation Stakes third-place finisher Euro Charline.
Completing the field is a trio of local horses: the first- and third-place finishers, respectively, from the Modesty Handicap—Hit the Board Stables’ I’m Already Sexy and Elm Racing’s Street of Gold—and Salvador Racing’s Club’s La Tia, third in last year’s Modesty before a fifth-place finish in the Beverly D., who shipped north this year with a win in the Grade III Ontario Matron on July 26 at Woodbine as a prep for this.
Caroline Forgason’s Somali Lemonade has won three of four starts since returning from a three-month layoff with a style that puts her on or near the pace. Her lone loss in that span came in the one-mile Grade I Just A Game. She ships to Arlington for trainer Michael Matz, who trainer Kicken Kris to victories in the 2003 Secretariat and 2004 Arlington Million.
Martin Schwartz’s Alterite has dropped three straight after winning the Grade I Garden City in her U.S. debut last year. The Diana was her 4-year-old debut and came off an 8 1/2-month layoff. The Ramsey family’s Stephanie’s Kitten, Juddmonte Farm’s Emollient, and Richard Santulli’s Tannery are each looking to regain Grade I form as well, as none have a graded stakes win this year. A victory by Alerite would be the fourth in the race for Schwartz, who previously won with Angara (2005), Gorella (2006) and Stacelita (2011).
Eric Reed trains Street of Gold—likely to be the longest shot in the field of 11—but he expects plenty of pace for his filly to run at for a chance to shock the world late. Indeed, Emollient, I’m Already Sexy, La Tia, and Somali Lemonade all race on or near the lead.