10/28/2010 4:52PM

Bella Diamante looking good for her return


Kentucky Oaks alumna Bella Diamante will make her first start since that Grade 1 classic on April 30 in Saturday night's featured eighth race at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

The $35,000 optional claiming sprint has second-level allowance conditions, and with the right kind of effort Bella Diamante will return to stakes action next month at Delta Downs, said her trainer, Allen Milligan.

Bella Diamante was second in the Grade 3, $500,000 Princess last winter at Delta, and from there developed into a candidate for the Kentucky Oaks with another stakes-placing at the track, then a sharp allowance win at Oaklawn Park. She made her way to Churchill Downs, and finished 14th to Blind Luck in the Oaks. Not long afterwards, Bella Diamante was found to have a bone chip in an ankle, which was removed, according to Milligan.

"She's doing awesome," he said.

Bella Diamante worked a bullet half-mile from the gate in her final prep for her return, going in 47.40 seconds at Remington on Oct. 26. Milligan said he is pleased with her fitness level leading up to her comeback, with some of her preparation coming at his brother Eddie Milligan Jr.'s training center in Texas.

"Eddie Jr.'s done a great job getting her back," Milligan said. "She was pretty much fit when I got her from Eddie, other than official works. I think she's ready to go, [but] there's nothing like a race to get a horse 100 percent."

Milligan would like to see Bella Diamante advance to the $60,000 Orleans at seven furlongs at Delta on the Jackpot undercard Nov. 20. For now, though, the focus is her comeback race at Remington. Bella Diamante won her career debut at the track last October. It came at the same six-furlong trip she will run over Saturday when she takes on eight others, including Justasassycat. Bella Diamante will break from post 2, under Martin Escobar.

"I'd like to see her sitting third, fourth, somewhere mid-pack," Milligan said. "She's going to be fresh, so she's going to be a little closer than she probably would be usually."