Parisian Diva possibly Oaks-bound after Bishop score

by | Aug 26, 2019 | Breaking, Racing, West Virginia, WV Racing

Parisian Diva was much the best in the Sylvia Bishop Memorial Stakes at Charles Town Races. Photo by Coady Photography.

A compact field of five sophomore state-bred fillies went postward in the $50,000 Sylvia Bishop on Saturday night at Charles Town and the eventual heroine gave her connections dual reason to celebrate.

Despite heading into the Sylvia Bishop following a setback against local foes following a runner-up effort at Laurel Park, Parisian Diva was made the 3-10 favorite with Jose Montano aboard for trainer Stacey Viands and owner-breeder Melinda Golden. Viands had encountered more physical ailments than the daughter of Freedom Child in recent weeks, having had triple bypass surgery in late July and only regaining his ability to drive the week leading up to the Bishop.

When the gates opened in the Bishop, Parisian Diva broke alertly to gain command passing the finish line the first time and maintained a short lead down the backside while setting moderate splits of 23.35 and 47.09 flat for the first two calls. She opened a clear lead on the far turn and edged away to a four-length score over C R Case’s Legacy while stopping the timer in 1:25.56 for the seven panels. Amelia Bedelia held the show stop. Parisian Diva returned $2.60 for the win and topped an exacta worth $4.30 for a buck.

It was her fifth win in seven starts this year and her seventh tally in 11 career tries. She now has $191,845 in career earnings and has won three stakes races. 

“She was really good tonight,” Viands said. “Jose (Montano) told me she was terrific. I was kidding him in the paddock before the race because he would not work this filly when she was a two-year-old. He told me he will work her now. She looked really good tonight and she came back to the winner’s circle on her toes. I think we’ll go in the (Grade III, $300,000) Charles Town Oaks next month. But we’ll see how she comes out of the race. My groom, Bobby Gordon, does a great job with her.”

Viands will have to decide between going in the Charles Town Oaks and the Sadie Hawkins for state-bred fillies and mares on September 21. A year ago, locally-based Late Night Pow Wow won the Oaks and went on to win the G3 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel this past February and then run third in the G1 Madison at Keeneland.

In October, Viands will likely opt for the Maryland Million Distaff at Laurel on October 19 rather than the West Virginia Breeders Classics on Oct. 12. Parisian Diva is not eligible to the WVBC and would have to supplement into the race. Parisian Diva has already proven that she can compete with open stakes foes in Maryland, and Viands is hardly bashful about going back to Laurel for another stakes.

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About The Author

Ted Black

Ted Black, a Maryland native, has covered racing — flat and harness, in West Virginia and in Maryland — since 1987 and is now in his fourth decade on the beat. He is president of the Maryland Racing Media Association. Follow him on twitter @tblacksomds1.

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