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Didia won the 2023 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park, a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, after shipping in for trainer Ignacio Correas IV.
Now 5 for 6 since coming to North America, is the Argentinian-bred mare a sneaky contender at the World Championships? Watch the replay & get the Racing Dudes’ expert analysis, then tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Intent on keeping his mount covered up in the early stages, French-born Vincent Cheminaud was fifth, about seven lengths off the lead aboard race favorite Didia heading into the Club House turn of Saturday’s Grade II, $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita.
From there, he worked out a perfect trip that resulted in an emphatic 1 ¾ length score that figures to propel the 5-year-old Argentina-bred mare to the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.
Trained by Ignacio Correas, IV, Didia, based in Kentucky at Keeneland Racecourse, got a mile and one quarter on turf in 1:59.79.
The Rodeo Drive is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race Qualifier, as such Didia thus earns a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
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Three-deep and third, about 1 ½ lengths off of longshot leaders Turnerloose and Stoic Luna three furlongs out, Didia made the lead approaching the eighth pole and easily kept talented Anisette at bay from there in a romp.
Most recently a close second in the Grade I New York Stakes going the same distance at Belmont Park June 9, Didia had won her four previous stateside starts and was off as the even money favorite, returning $4.20, $2.40 and $2.20.
A two-time Group I winner in Argentina, Didia is owned by Merriebelle Stable and now has nine wins from 13 starts. With today’s winner’s share of $180,000, she increased her earnings to $772,109.
Trained by Leonard Powell, 3-year-old English-bred Anisette, facing older company for the first time today, once again exhibited an impressive turn of foot, but was second best, finishing a neck in front longshot Juncture. Off at 8-5 with Umberto Rispoli, Anisette paid $2.60 and $2.40.
Off at 18-1 with Mike Smith, English-bred Juncture, who shipped in from Kentucky for Brad Cox, paid $5.40 to show while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Closing Remarks.
Fractions on the race were 24.50, 48.75, 1:13.31 and 1:37.22.
VINCENT CHEMINAUD, DIDIA, WINNER: “I’m feeling great. I felt we had a really good chance today my filly was really good. After a long break you never know, but today the level was really great for her, the pace was good, she’s a nice filly and she deserved to win.
“It will be my first time in the Breeders’ Cup and I’m very excited.”
IGNACIO CORREAS, IV, DIDIA, WINNER: “The filly was training really good, there was no change in anything she was just training really well. The filly will stay here for the Breeders’ Cup, she is a really good filly so I’m not worried.”
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