07/13/2003 11:00PM

Ipi Tombe to miss Diana

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Ipi Tombe recently suffered a minor setback that will keep her from running July 26 in the Grade 1 Diana Handicap at Saratoga but it is not serious enough to keep her from the Aug. 16 Beverly D. at Arlington Park, her trainer, Elliott Walden, said Monday.

Walden said Ipi Tombe rapped her left front leg during a three-furlong breeze last week at Churchill Downs, which caused the leg to swell and forced her to miss two days of training.

"She missed a pivotal work" toward the Diana, said Walden. "She's already back to the track, and everything's fine."

Ipi Tombe, a 5-year-old Zimbabwe-bred mare, has won 12 of 14 starts, including her only U.S. start, the June 28 Locust Grove Handicap at Churchill. Walden and the mare's ownership syndicate had seriously considered running Ipi Tombe against males in the Arlington Million, but because they had planned to use the Diana as a stepping-stone to the Million. Walden said they have settled on the $700,000 Beverly D., a Grade 1 for fillies and mares.