05/22/2008 11:00PM

Diamond Diva gets her rider


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - David Flores or Mike Smith. Mike Smith or David Flores.

Those were the names that occupied trainer Jim Cassidy's mind earlier this week as he finalized a rider for Diamond Diva in Monday's $250,000 Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Flores rode Diamond Diva in her last start, the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap here on April 23. Smith rode Diamond Diva when she won the American Beauty Handicap at Santa Anita on March 30 in her U.S. debut.

Flores was expected to ride Monterey Jazz in Monday's Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park, but when Monterey Jazz was declared from that race because of a slight injury both jockeys were available on Monday.

For Cassidy, the debate continued until he chose Smith when entries were taken on Friday.

"I had to make a decision," he said. "I'd love David to ride, but Mike has done nothing wrong. I think Mike is deserving of her."

In a way, Cassidy has become a baseball manager, trying to platoon the two jockeys at the same position and keeping both happy.

"I'm not Casey Stengel," he said. "I love them both. I only have one horse."

Diamond Diva is one of five fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Gamely, which is run over 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race is led by Precious Kitten, the winner of the Matriarch Stakes here last November and a finalist for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding turf female of 2007. The other entrants are Lavender Sky, Rutherienne, and Solva.

Diamond Diva worked six furlongs in 1:11 last Monday, quicker than Cassidy expected. The workout left him more confident about her chances in the Gamely, her first appearance in a Grade 1 race.

"The way she worked the other day, she scared me to death," he said. "She went out easily and she picked it up in the second eighth."

When she returned to training on Wednesday, Diamond Diva showed no ill effects of the quick work. "It was like nothing happened," Cassidy said.

The impressive work led Cassidy to tell Lincoln Collins, the managing partner of the Three Chimneys Racing partnership that owns Diamond Diva, that she was in excellent shape approaching the biggest race of her career.

Three Chimneys Racing owns a stable of females that will eventually be bred. The partnership is affiliated with Three Chimneys Farm of Kentucky, which is operated by Robert Clay. Last week, Three Chimneys Farm announced that it will stand Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown at the conclusion of his racing career.

"I told Lincoln, 'You tell Mr. Clay if she comes out of this work and wins the Gamely, bring on Big Brown,'" Cassidy said.

Rebellion cuts leg, skips Shoemaker

Rebellion, the winner of the Grade 2 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland last month in his 2008 debut, was not entered for Monday's Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile after sustaining a cut on a hind leg earlier this week, according to trainer Graham Motion.

Rebellion was not shipped from Motion's base in Maryland.

"It's frustrating," Motion said. "I would love to have run this weekend, but he's got several stitches in it.

"It was a pretty nasty cut. It blew up at the wrong time. It didn't seem to me the right thing to put him on a plane to go across the country for a Grade 1."

Owned by Hickory Tree Stable, Rebellion, 5, has won 6 of 15 starts and $400,347. He was eighth in the Breeders' Cup Mile last fall at Monmouth Park.

Motion said that Rebellion is not expected to miss considerable training and will be nominated for stakes at Woodbine and Belmont Park as well as the $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap here on June 7.

The Shoemaker will have a field of eight, led by the 2008 Santa Anita stakes winners Ever a Friend (Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile in March) and Daytona (Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap in April).

Bobby Frankel has two entrants - Thousand Words, who was fifth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap on May 3, and Mast Track, who won an allowance race on the main track at Santa Anita on April 20.

The other entrants are Get Funky, Hyperbaric, Notional, and Perfect Drift.

Affirmed next for Dixie Chatter

Dixie Chatter, third in the Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes in his first start of 2008, will return in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap on June 15, trainer Richard Mandella said.

The winner of the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita last fall, Dixie Chatter was making his comeback after suffering a leg injury that kept him sidelined for two months. In the seven-furlong Barrera, Dixie Chatter finished 5 1/4 lengths behind winner Two Step Salsa, another Affirmed contender.

Intangaroo to the A Gleam Handicap?

Intangaroo, the winner of two Grade 1 sprints for females this year, worked a half-mile in 48 seconds at Hollywood Park on Wednesday, and may make her next start in the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap over seven furlongs on June 28, trainer Gary Sherlock said.

Intangaroo won the Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita in January and the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs earlier this month. Both races were over seven furlongs.

After the Humana Distaff, Sherlock said the $750,000 CashCall Mile on turf here on July 5 was a possibility. While he has not ruled out that race, he said earlier this week that the A Gleam is the main goal. "I don't know if I want to step out of the box," he said of staying in main track sprints.

The Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita in October is a long-term goal.

Pick six hit and hit and hit

After a one-day carryover of more than $93,000, the pick six proved much easier to hit on Thursday, returning $8,535 to 49 ticketholders. Bettors added $585,077 to the pool on Thursday.

The winners of the pick six races were Chelcee's Hope ($9.80), Lucky Mama ($10.60), Ornamental Touch ($12.40), Storm Machine ($8.20), Wickednwackyingrid ($3.80), and Seismometer ($6.80).