News and STORIES
Diamond Oops Takes Mr. Prospector Stakes
Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Tuesday December 24, 2019
Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy Dunne, D P Racing, and Patrick Biancone Racing's Diamond Oops took the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) Dec. 21 at Gulfstream Park. He fought in the stretch and passed up Imperial Hint to score his second graded stakes win of the season.
Going into the race, the favorites were Imperial Hint and X Y Jet. Imperial Hint was making his first start since being scratched from the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park due to a hoof blister. He came into the race as an even-money favorite in the seven-furlong sprint.
X Y Jet was also making his first start off an extended layoff, and he had not run since March. Back then, he took the Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Gulf News (G1) at Meydan.
Breaking sharply, X Y Jet bumped briefly with Zenden before moving up to the front of the field. Jockey Javier Castellano was on board Imperial Hint, and they settled quickly outside the leader. The two horses fought it out while the rest of the field fell behind along the backstretch. X Y Jet set fractions of :21.92 and :43.85 through the half-mile.
Diamond Oops was guided by Julien Leparoux, and he settled just off the pace through most of the race and held the fifth spot in the six-horse field. As they turned for home, Imperial Hint caught X Y Jet and moved ahead. X Y Jet began to fall back as Diamond Oops moved down the center of the stretch to challenge Imperial Hint.
Diamond Oops pushed forward in the final strides and finished one length in front in 1:21.36. Lasting Legacy finished second after making a wide trip, and Imperial Hint finished third.
"We obviously knew there was going to be a lot of speed in there. He broke sharp and settled really nice for me," Leparoux said. "At the three-eighths pole, I started to make my move. I was coming behind them loaded. I came out, and he made a big run."
The field was completed by Zenden, Home Base, and X Y Jet.
Diamond Oops was bred in Kentucky by Kin Hui Racing Stables, and he is out of the Whywhywhy mare Patriotic Viva. Biancone, the trainer for both Whywhywhy and Patriotic Viva, said that the Lookin At Lucky gelding represented the fighting spirit of the family.
"He appreciates a little moisture in the track. He's had a good year of racing and training. He's still a young horse for his age because he missed a year," Biancone said. "We're very happy with him today. Even though the pace was fast, he was cruising behind them. Julien rode him perfect."
Trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. was happy with Imperial Hint's third-place finish, and he is hoping that it will help with a potential start in the Saudi Cup Feb. 29.
"Seven furlongs was a little too far. That's it. That's all I was worried about," Carvajal said. "Javier said he felt good. He just got a little tired. You could see him struggling a little bit at the end. His best distance is three-quarters. This will hopefully set him up good for Saudi. It gives us six weeks — almost two months to get him ready. And if all goes well, we'll jump to Dubai from there."
Diamond Oops scored his first graded win in June when he won the Smile Sprint Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream. His record was improved to 5-2-1 from 12 starts, and his earnings are at $646,490.