News and STORIES
Diamond King, Bellafina Will Both Run at Parx
Author: Don Mckee
Published: Thursday September 19, 2019
At the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx Racing on Saturday, the full siblings Diamond King and Bellafina will both be running in what is a rare sight. Their races will be an hour apart from each other, and the first will be the Parx Dirt Mile Stakes, while the second is the Cotillion Stakes (G1).
The siblings are from Quality Road and out of the Malibu Moon mare Akron Moon.
Neither Diamond King nor Bellafina is favored in their races, but they both have good odds. Diamond King is listed as 5-1 on the morning line for the $150,000 Parx Dirt Mile, and Bellafina is sitting at 6-1 in the $1 million Cotillion.
Both Coming Off Solid Year
Each of the horses has had a solid year. Diamond King, the 4-year-old, was victorious in the Heft Stakes and Federico Stakes at Laurel Park when he was younger. He also placed in six graded stakes.
Bellafina, the younger 3-year-old horse, has three grade 2 and three grade 1 victories. Those include the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) that ran this spring.
Diamond King will be going against 2019 graded winners Coal Front and Monongahela when he runs in the Parx Dirt Mile. If he were to win, it would be his highest-paying stakes race. He has already won two times on the Parx Surface with a second-place finish as well. This would be Diamond King's first stake win of the year.
"Diamond King, I think, has always been on the cusp of getting it, just not quite there," said Joe Minor of JSM Equine, the horse's breeder.
Diamond King is owned by Cash is King and LC Racing, and he is trained by John Servis. He will be back once again with jockey Jose Ortiz.
On March 22, Ortiz was the jockey who rode Diamond King across the line in an allowance victory at Gulfstream Park. He was also on board for a third-place finish behind Monongahela in the Phillip H. Iselin Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park on June 22.
The most recent race for Diamond King was the Red Bank Stakes (G3T) at Monmouth where he finished fifth.
At the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Diamond King was bought for $235,000 by Charles Zacney of Cash is King from the consignment of Wavertree Stables.
Coal Front Heavily Favored in Parx Dirt Mile
Coal Front is the heavily favored even-money choice for the Parx Dirt Mile. He won the Godolphin Mile Sponsored by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One (G2) in Dubai on March 30 at Meydan. He was also the winner of the Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream and Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park in the winter.
The horse finished third in the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) on July 20. He is hoping to have another good day at Parx, where he took the Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) in 2017 as a 3-year-old.
"We want to see how he handles a two-turn mile, with that being an option at the Breeders' Cup," said trainer Todd Pletcher, talking about the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. "And with him being successful in the Gallant Bob as a 3-year-old, we know he likes the surface, and the timing is good."
Pletcher has stated that he thinks the reason for the loss in the Monmouth Cup was due to outside conditions. In that race, Coal Front lost by 12 lengths.
"It was the day of the Haskell, insanely hot, and in retrospect, I probably should have scratched," he said. "He got pretty hot. Didn't handle the situation at all."