02/16/2015 8:19PM

Diversy Harbor goes from last to first in Buena Vista

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Benoit & Associates
Diversy Harbor and jockey Gary Stevens win the Buena Vista Stakes by three-quarters of a length Monday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Diversy Harbor was last for the first half-mile of the $200,250 Buena Vista Stakes at a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Monday, and that was fine with jockey Gary Stevens.

At the start, Stevens noticed that jockey Kent Desormeaux urged his mount Blingismything away from the gate to challenge the heavy favorite, La Tia. The move led to a speed duel between those two that benefited Diversy Harbor.

Through the final furlong, Diversy Harbor moved off the rail and ran by them all. She took the lead in the final sixteenth and won the Grade 2 Buena Vista Stakes by three-quarters of a length for her first graded stakes win.

Diversy Harbor ($11.80) was timed in 1:34.33.

“They really picked it up at the half,” Stevens said. “Kent chirped to his filly and put pressure on La Tia. I was comfortable to sit behind those.”

La Tia, who won the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar in November, finished three-quarters of a length in front of Blingismything, who was followed by Annecdote, Winning Rhythm, and Nashoba’s Gold in the small field.

La Tia, ridden by Joel Rosario, set fractions of 23.12 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.49 for the half-mile, leading by a length to the final turn when challenged by Blingismything.

“The horse on the outside came up a little early,” Rosario said. “The horse that won ran a good race.”

Diversy Harbor races for Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor. A 4-year-old by Curlin, Diversy Harbor won a maiden race and the minor China Doll Stakes in her first two starts but lost her next seven starts until the Buena Vista. The losing streak included second-place finishes in the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes last April, the Grade 1 American Oaks last May, and the Grade 3 Robert Frankel Stakes, by a nose, on Dec. 27.  All of those races were at Santa Anita.

Stevens rode Diversy Harbor in the Providencia but did not ride the filly again until the Frankel Stakes. The filly has won 3 of 10 starts and earned $377,190.

“I can’t believe how much she has improved,” he said. “She’s become very cooperative, and I’ve gotten to know her.”