06/11/2012 4:29PM

Belmont Park: Just a Game 1-2-3 eye rematch in Diana

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Barbara D. Livingston
Tapitsfly, winner of the Just a Game, is being pointed to the Diana at Saratoga.

Tapitsfly, Winter Memories, and Hungry Island were the top three finishers in Saturday’s Grade 1 Just a Game. All three are likely to meet again in the Grade 1, $600,000 Diana at Saratoga on July 28.

Tapitsfly used her speed to go gate to wire in the Just a Game, running her final quarter in 22.86 seconds after going her opening half-mile in 46.44 uncontested.

Jimmy Toner, trainer of beaten favorite Winter Memories, offered no excuses for his filly’s 2 1/4-length defeat in the one-mile turf race.

“It looks like we’ll be butting heads with each other all year,” Toner said. “My filly ran well, no excuses other than we couldn’t run fast enough.”

Trainer Shug McGaughey said he felt Hungry Island lost a little position early on when she was flat-footed a stride or two out of the gate.

He had to ride her to get her in position,” McGaughey said. “Usually, she breaks and she’s right there. In fact, you got to take hold of her and get her behind something.

“I’ll be happy to stretch her out, too,” McGaughey added, noting that the Diana is an eighth of a mile longer than the Just a Game.

◗ The next Grade 1 race run in New York is the Mother Goose for 3-year-old fillies June 23. It is shaping up to be a solid race, with Kentucky Oaks 1-2 finishers Believe You Can and Broadway’s Alibi expected as well as Acorn winner Contested.

On Sunday, Broadway’s Alibi worked four furlongs in 47.68 seconds over Belmont’s main track, while Contested went five furlongs in 59.67.