Diversy Harbor, with Gary Stevens up, took advantage of a blistering early pace scenario and flew late to defeat 3-5 favorite La Tia by three quarters of a length in Monday’s Grade II, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes, as she covered one mile on turf in 1:34.33.
Ridden by eastern-based Joel Rosario, La Tia broke running from the rail and cleared Blingismything by one length around the Club House turn, but “Bling,” who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux turned up the heat down the backside and around the far turn, resulting in fractions of 23.12, 46.49, 1:10.05 and 1:22.05.
“Kent chirped to his filly leaving the gate and I said ‘Good, somebody’s gonna put some pressure on La Tia,’” said Stevens, who broke from post position three in a field of six older fillies and mares. “She’s matured a lot, she’s push button. She showed a nice kick. I can’t believe how much she’s matured. Like all good fillies, she’s got a mind of her own, but she’s gotten more cooperative and I’ve gotten to know her a lot better too from working her in the mornings…They really picked it up at the half and I was content to sit back there until I could get out.”
Trained by Tom Proctor and owned by Leonard Lavin’s Glen Hill Farm, Diversy Harbor was off at 9-2 and paid $11.80, $3.40 and $3.00. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Curlin, she’s out of the Storm Cat mare Motokiks. Second, beaten a nose in her most recent start, the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles turf Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 27, Diversy Harbor improved her record to 10-3-4-1 and with the winner’s share of $120,000, hiked her earnings to $377,190.
“He (Kent Desormeaux on Blingismything) did help her on the pace,” said Proctor assistant Aimee Dollase. “That’s what she’s been lacking in a lot of her races, is a pace up front, but she still closes really strong, so that definitely helped us today.”
A dedicated front runner, La Tia, ridden by Joel Rosario, had been idle since annexing the Grade I, one mile turf Matriarch on Nov. 30 at Del Mar and was in search of her third consecutive win for trainer Armando de la Cerda.
“She was going easy, even when that horse (Blingismything) came to our outside, she was still comfortable,” said Rosario. “She did everything she could but we just got beat. We were second best today.”
Off at 3-5, La Tia finished three quarters of a length in front of pace nemesis Blingismything and paid $2.40 and $2.20.
Off at 10-1, Blingismything paid $3.60 to show.