08/30/2003 11:00PM

Dirty Diana heavily favored in Generous Portion


DEL MAR, Calif. - So far, Dirty Diana has been the stakes star for trainer Bob Baffert at Del Mar.

Her win in the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes on July 25 is his lone stakes win of a meeting in which he is well on his way to a seventh consecutive overall training title.

Last year, Baffert won five stakes at Del Mar; in 2000, he won a career-best 13.

Dirty Diana can add to Baffert's total when she makes her third start of the meeting in Wednesday's $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for 2-year-old California-bred fillies. On Aug. 9, just 15 days after her win by 8 1/2 lengths in the CTBA, Dirty Diana finished second as the favorite in the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes, losing by four lengths to Tizdubai after leading in mid-stretch.

Baffert blames himself for the loss.

"She ran a good race," Baffert said. "We may have run back a little too soon."

Tizdubai is a California-bred but is being pointed for the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28. Her absence leaves Dirty Diana as a heavy favorite in the six-furlong Generous Portion.

The race has drawn nine entrants, but Dirty Diana is the lone stakes winner in the field. Other top candidates are Alpenwald, who was fourth in the Grade 3 Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 4; Blowing Bartok, who was third in the CTBA Stakes; and Nicole and Ben, an impressive winner of a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs on July 26.

Dirty Diana has shown speed in each of her four starts, which includes a seven-length maiden win at Hollywood Park in April and a fifth in the Cinderella Stakes in June in her stakes debut.

Baffert expects jockey Mike Smith to have Dirty Diana in front in the Generous Portion.

"She wants to roll," Baffert said.

Not many of the other entrants are as committed to the front.

Blowing Bartok, still a maiden after three starts, closed from sixth to finish 10 lengths behind Dirty Diana in the CTBA Stakes. She was later fifth against open company in a maiden race on Aug. 16.

Good Charlotte and She's Gottogetaway both won maiden races from stalking positions in their first starts.

Nicole and Ben scored a flashy maiden win by leading throughout but did not set exceptionally fast fractions - 22.23 and 45.59 seconds.

"We can lay second if we have to," trainer John Sadler said. "She's not a frontrunner."