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Diamond Oops Staying Home Saturday to Prep for Smile

Jun 2, 2021
Multiple Graded-Stakes Winner Featured Star in ‘Hollywood’

– Multiple graded-stakes winner Diamond Oops will stay home in South Florida for Saturday’s $60,000 Hollywood Lakes at Gulfstream Park to prep for the July 3 Smile Sprint (G3) instead of traveling to New York for Saturday’s Met Mile (G1).

“We nominate him everywhere. Sometimes in a handicap you get a favorable weight. That was not the case [for the Met Mile]. He was 120 [pounds] against the horse that won the Breeders’ Cup with 126,” said trainer Patrick Biancone, referring to Knicks Go, the winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland and $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 23 at Gulfstream. “I thought the gap wasn’t much, so we decided to stay home.”

Diamond Oops has always felt at home at Gulfstream Park, where the 6-year-old gelding has registered five of his seven career wins, including the 2019 Smile Sprint (G3) and Mr. Prospector (G3) triumphs. The son of Lookin At Lucky has demonstrated uncommon versatility that has also served him well on the many occasions that he has hit the road.

After winning the 2019 Smile, Diamond Oops went on to finish second in back-to-back Grade 1 stakes, the Alfred G. Vanderbilt on dirt at Saratoga and the Shadwell Mile on turf at Keeneland. After staring his 2020 campaign with a solid fourth-place finish in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream while stretching out to 1 1/8 miles, Diamond Oops returned to one-turn races to win the Twin Spires Turf (G2) at Churchill and the Phoenix (G2) on dirt at Keeneland.

“He’s just a very good horse. He tries his best all the time,” said Biancone, who owns Diamond Oops with Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy Dunne and D. P. Racing LLC. “He’s much better on the dirt, when a turf race comes up, he can show up and pick up a good check.”

After finishing off the board in back-to-back races for the first time in his 19-race career in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland and the Dec. 19 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream, Diamond Oops was given a well-deserved break before returning at Churchill Downs in the April 30 Twin Spires Turf, in which he closed from far back to finish fourth.

“It was a good race at Churchill Downs. He got a little bit blocked but he finished late. It was a good comeback race,” Biancone said. “Now we are trying to prepare him for the Smile.”

Diamond Oops will carry highweight of 124 pounds, including jockey Luca Panici, in the Hollywood Lakes, conceding between five and 11 pounds to his five rivals in the six-furlong overnight handicap for 3-year-olds and up.

David Melin, Leon Ellman and Laurie Plesa’s Miles Ahead, who has been assigned 119 pounds, is scheduled to run as the second highweight.  The 4-year-old son of Competitive Edge is coming off back-to-back victories in an April 24 optional claiming allowance and a May 21 starter allowance.  In the April 24 outing, the Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained runner prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Wind of Change, who went on to win the ungraded Mr. Prospector Stakes last weekend at Monmouth.

Edgard Zayas has the call on Miles Ahead.

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing will be represented in the Hollywood Lakes by Ournationonparade, a stakes-winning gelding trained by Kathy Ritvo. The son of Cal Nation was a two-time optional claiming allowance winner during Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet. He will seek to rebound off a rare off-the-board finish in a recent overnight handicap.

Cristian Torres has the mount.

Peter Brant’s Brewmeister, Eric Wirth and Bates Stable Inc.’s With Verve, and Lea Farms LLC’s Willy Boi round out the field for the Hollywood Lakes, which will co-headline Saturday’s program with the $75,000 Game Face, a 6 ½-furlong sprint for 3-year-old-fillies that is a prep for the $350,000 Princess Rooney (G2), which will be featured on the July 3 Summit of Speed card with the Smile.

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