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Winter Memories shines in Grade 1 Diana S.
RSS Feeds Saturday, July 28, 2012

Winter Memories became racing's newest millionaire on July 28 with a come-from-behind victory in the $600,000 Diana H. (G1) at Saratoga. The Phillips Racing Partnership homebred emulated her dam Memories of Silver, who captured the 1998 Diana for the Phillips family as well.

With little pace in the six-horse field, Winter Memories laid a little closer than normal in the nine furlong Diana. Front-runner Tapitsfly cut out the first three-quarter of a mile in 1:11.27 over the “good” turf, and seemingly had things her way coming into the stretch. Winter Memories was gaining momentum three-wide coming into the straight, then just outside the furlong pole she accelerated very quickly to open up three lengths. With her tail swishing, she finished up a length and a half winner in 1:48.50.

“I was concerned a little bit because it was a small field,” said jockey Javier Castellano. “I would have liked to cover her up a little bit at the beginning of the race. There wasn’t much speed in the race. That was my concern. It worked out great. It was amazing. She was able to cover up. She was able to finish so well today. My filly is a 1 1/8-mile or a 1 ¼-mile horse. She likes the two turns. She likes to cover up and she gave me that kick.”


Winter Memories: Racing's newest millionaire
photo: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos
“There was no pace. I think we were closer due to the way the race was shaping up,” said winning trainer Jimmy Toner. “I just left it in Javier’s hands and said, ‘Just do what you want to do, but I wouldn’t let [Tapitsfly] get too far away from us today.’”

In her two previous 2012 starts, Winter Memories won Belmont Park’s Grade 3 Beaugay S. by 2 ¼ lengths on May 5 and was second in the Grade 1 Just a Game S. on June 9, also at Belmont.

Overall, the Phillips Racing Partnership homebred is 8-2-0 in 12 starts. The $360,000 winner’s share of the Diana purse pushed her earnings into seven figures at $1,268,100.