06/06/2010 11:00PM

Proviso, Phola rematch likely in Diana


Proviso and Phola, the one-two finishers in Saturday's Just a Game Stakes, are likely to meet again in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga on July 31.

Proviso, who beat Phola by a half-length in the Just a Game, has had success in Europe at distances beyond a mile. The Just a Game was at a mile. The Diana is at 1 1/8 miles.

Phola, meanwhile, had two wins at 1 1/16 miles, and Pletcher said he believes that with a bit more pace Phola might have been able to run down Proviso in the Just a Game.

"It was a little frustrating to have her run so well," and not win, Pletcher said. "A little bit of pace help is what we needed. We knew looking at the past performances there wasn't much pace, but we felt she improved a lot with this style of running so we stuck to our plan. She finished big; she couldn't quite get there."

Champagne d'Oro to Mother Goose

Champagne d'Oro, upset winner of the Grade 1 Acorn, will stay in New York and point for the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes here on June 26, trainer Eric Guillot said. Thereafter, she will be kept in races around one turn and target the Grade 1 Test, a seven-furlong race at Saratoga on Aug. 7.

"She's better one turn," Guillot said Monday from Louisiana, where the bulk of his horses are stabled. "We thought she would be."

Guillot said he was stunned that Champagne d'Oro returned $81.

Guillot pointed out that Champagne d'Oro won a six-furlong maiden race on dirt off a 96-day layoff, then, in her first route race, was beaten a half-length by Quiet Temper in the Fair Grounds Oaks.

Champagne d'Oro finished 11th of 14 in the Kentucky Oaks. A front-runner, she found herself eighth early after a troubled start.

"She stumbled, got pinched back, ate dirt, was rank all the way around there," Guillot said. "If you throw that one out, what has she done wrong? Is she supposed to pay $80? I'm glad she did."

Guillot said Champagne d'Oro would stay at Belmont with assistant trainer Richard Baltas. Guillot also said he would have about 15 horses in Saratoga this summer.

Guillot said that as satisfied as he was with Champagne d'Oro's victory, it made him miss his other top 2-year-old filly, Mi Sueno, that much more. Mi Sueno won the Grade 1 Debutante at Del Mar last summer -- beating Blind Luck -- before suffering a career-ending injury.

"Mi Sueno was 10 lengths better than this whole crop," Guillot said.