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Diamond King Returns a Winner in Friday Feature

Mar 22, 2019
Jockey Saez Continues Hot Streak with Four-Win Day
Rainbow 6 Carryover Swells to $2.176 Million for Friday

– Cash is King, D.J. Stable and LC Racing’s multiple stakes winner Diamond King made a triumphant return to the races Friday at Gulfstream Park, stalking pacesetter War Giant before drawing off through the stretch in the featured ninth race.

Narrowly favored over two-time graded-stakes winner Avery Island, making his first start in nearly 14 months, Diamond King ($6.40) ran one mile in 1:36.38 over a fast main track in the $52,000 second-level optional claiming allowance for 4-year-olds and up.

It was the fifth career win for Diamond King, a 4-year-old son of Quality Road that won the Heft Stakes at 2 and Federico Tesio Stakes at 3, both at Laurel Park. The latter earned him an automatic berth in the Preakness (G1), where he ran seventh behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify.

Following the Preakness, Diamond King finished fifth in the Ohio Derby (G3), second in the Smarty Jones (G3) and third by a head in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) Sept. 30 to wrap up his sophomore campaign for trainer John Servis.

In Friday’s race, Ortiz positioned Diamond King at the right hip of War Giant as the 11-1 long shot sent a quarter-mile in 23.57 seconds and a half in 46.43. Avery Island tracked in third down the backstretch but began to fade as the field reached the turn. Diamond King straightened for home in command and sprinted clear to give jockey Jose Ortiz his third win of the day.

“I knew [War Giant] was going to go on. I let them go. When we passed the chute I looked back, I knew I could put him in the clear and that’s what I did,” Ortiz said. “From the three-eighths pole to the wire, it was lovely. The horse is doing great. I was a great job by the Servis team. I think we have a good one here.”

Eye of a Jedi got up to be second, with Hy Kodiak Warrior third. Avery Island finished seventh of eight.

Jockey Saez Continues Hot Streak with Four-Win Day

Two-time defending Championship Meet leading rider Luis Saez continued to close the gap between he and current leader Irad Ortiz Jr. with a four-win afternoon Friday.

Winner of a Gulfstream record 137 races in 2017-18, Saez registered three consecutive victories Friday aboard Quasar Moon ($3.80) in Race 3, St. Denman ($5.60) in Race 4 and Moon Eyes ($7.80) in Race 5, before edging Ortiz with Whip Me Into Shape ($17) in Race 7.

Over the past 11 racing days dating back to March 8, Saez has compiled 32 wins with 10 multi-win days, including five wins March 20 and four wins March 15.

Ortiz leads Saez by a 125-122 margin with six racing days remaining. Both riders return to Gulfstream Sunday after riding Saturday at Fair Grounds. The Championship Meet ends Sunday, March 31.

Rainbow 6 Carryover Swells to $2.176 Million for Saturday

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot continued its lucrative ascent Friday at Gulfstream Park, going unsolved for the 26th consecutive racing day in climbing to $2,176,843.28 for Saturday’s program.

Post time for the 13-race card, which includes the $100,000 Hutcheson (G3) in Race 12 and $75,000 Any Limit in Race 6, is 12:45 p.m.

A total of $475,672 was bet Friday into the popular multi-race wager, which began with a carryover of $2,062,709.88 from Thursday’s card. Multiple tickets with all six winners each returned $2,511.42.

The carryover jackpot is only paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that days’ pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

Since the 2018-19 Championship Meet kicked off Dec. 1, the Rainbow 6 has been hit seven times, most recently for a $227,505.88 payout Feb. 15.

Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence begins in Race 8 and includes the six-furlong Hutcheson for 3-year-olds, where Todd Pletcher-trained Federal Case, is the 9-5 program favorite after finishing off the board in the Fasig-Tipton Holy Bull (G2) Feb. 2 in his most recent start.

Who’s Hot: In addition to Diamond King, jockey Jose Ortiz teamed up with trainer Mark Casse to win Friday’s second race with Great Kahuna ($6.40) and sixth race with Moonlight Rain ($7.20).

Rainbow 6 Carryover: $2,176,843.28

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