SARATOGA SPRINGS - Somali Lemonade rallied from just off the pace and held off hard-charging Stephanie's Kitten by a neck Saturday in the Grade I, $500,000 Diana Stakes for fillies and mares at Saratoga.
The 5-year-old mare often sets the pace but this time she rated for Luis Saez and finished strongly. She paid $24.60 after running 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.51 on a firm inner turf course. Trainer Michael Matz, usually a restrained guy, was giddy in the winner's circle.
"That wasn't the plan, we really didn't have a plan," Matz said. "She doesn't need to be on the lead, and she's really a good filly. Luis said that after the wire he couldn't even pull her up."
'Trouble' takes Sanford. Big Trouble ($25.60) overcame potentially big trouble, a bumping duel with Mr. Z in midstretch, and got up in the final jump to beat that rival by a neck in the 100th running of the Grade II Sanford Stakes for 2-year-olds. The winner and rider Irad Ortiz Jr. survived an inquiry that showed Mr. Z, ridden by Corey Lanerie, had initiated the contact. The time for 6 furlongs on a fast track was 1:10.64.
Nonna's Boy, the 8-5 favorite, finished fourth, 1 3/4 lengths behind Mr. Z and a neck in back of 2-1 second choice Cinco Charlie.
"The horse on the inside [Mr. Z] pushed his way out, and Big Trouble got mad," winning trainer Tony Dutrow said. "He's a big son of a gun, and he kept fighting."