Parisian Diva dominates in Eleanor Casey Memorial
File photo by Parisian Diva breaking her maiden by Coady Photography.
by Frank Vespe
In her two prior stakes tries, two-year-old Parisian Diva had butted heads unsuccessfully with the undefeated Battleground Star.
That runner was not in Saturday’s $50,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes at Charles Town Races, however, and this time, Parisian Diva took full advantage.
With jockey J. D. Acosta aboard her for the first time, Parisian Diva made short work of her six West Virginia-bred rivals, overcoming a bit of a bobbling start to post a dominant five-length victory. Parisian Diva, the second choice at 1.70-1, was well clear of 15-1 Skylar’s Trick, who in turn was almost two ahead of late-running Flatter Me Owen. Grace Elizabeth, sent off as the 6-5 favorite, loomed a threat nearing the lane but emptied out to finish fifth.
Parisian Diva returned $5.40 to win and topped an exacta worth $36.20 for a buck. Parisian Diva now has two wins from starts in her brief career with purse earnings of $61,935.
Parisian Diva, whose lone prior win had come in front-running fashion in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden test, broke a step slow and bumped lightly with Grace Elizabeth, the Jeff Runco-trained Great Notion filly whom bettors made the favorite.
But Parisian Diva quickly righted herself and moved up to stalk the early pace of Thislillimeofmine. Those two led the field through an opening-quarter mile in 23.25 seconds. Lillimeofmine, with Jose Montano up, was still in front, though by just a half-length, after a half-mile had gone in 47.75 seconds.
Nearing the quarter pole, Parisian Diva took over of her own accord. Grace Elizabeth, in the four path on the turn, made a bid then, and for a moment, it seemed the two favorites would meet to settle matters. But as quickly as her run materialized, it fizzled out.
That left Parisian Diva to pull away readily to the five-length win. Parisian Diva stopped the clock in 1:27.73 for the two-turn, seven-furlong distance.
Parisian Diva is a homebred for owner Melinda Golden. She is by Freedom Child out of the winning Wildcat Heir mare Paris Heiress and is trained by Stacey Viands.