By Lynne Snierson
Owner Kin Hui got lucky when Diamond Oops, his homebred son of 2010 Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky, didn’t meet his $42,000 reserve price when offered as a weanling at the 2015 Keeneland Breeding Stock sale. So he was kept to race and now, he’s a two-time Grade 3 winner, earner of $646,490 and a 20-1 long shot in Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1).
His best races are a mile and shorter, so he’ll be hard-pressed to get the 1 1/8 miles of the World Cup against top class competition. But the 5-year-old gelding has an affinity for Gulfstream Park, where he has won five of seven starts. Both of his graded stakes wins, the Smile Sprint (G3) at 6 furlongs in June and the Mr. Prospector (G3) at 7 furlongs last time out on Dec. 21, landed him in Gulfstream’s winner’s circle.
When taking the Mr. Prospector while coming from off the pace, he defeated the highly regarded Imperial Hint, a finalist for 2019 champion Sprinter, and the ill-fated, Grade 1 winning X Y Jet.
Diamond Oops ran only once in 2018, and when he returned for a full season he 2019 he was impressive on both the main track and the grass course. After winning the Smile, he finished second to Imperial Hint – and ahead of Mitole — in the Vanderbilt (G1) at 6 furlongs, then was nosed out for the win by Bowies Hero in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). Before cutting back in distance in the Mr. Prospector on dirt, he was eighth in Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on Nov. 2 after lunging at the start and losing any chance.
His latest workout was Jan. 21, when he worked 3 furlongs on dirt in 36.20 seconds at Palm Meadows Training Center.
Post position: No. 2
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Trainer: Patrick Biancone
Owners: Diamond 100 Racing Club (Kin Hui), Amy E. Dunne, DP Racing, Patrick Biancone
Career record: 12 5-2-1
Career earnings: $646,490
Pedigree: Lookin At Lucky-Patriotic Viva, by Whywhywhy
Running style: Versatile. Can close, rate off speed or contest pace
“Talented sprinter/miler never has gone two turns; dream on.’’ Ed McNamara
“Sprinter/miler type … soundly beaten by Spun To Run and Omaha Beach when eighth in BC Dirt Mile … long shot here.” Noel Michaels
Notes: Originally on the reserve list for the Pegasus World Cup, Diamond Oops was moved up into the main body once the shape of the field changed … if drawing a line through the BC Dirt Mile, Diamond Oops has been first or second in his other efforts (four) dating back to June … Julien Leparoux has been in the irons for all of those last five races … Biancone trained both the dam, who won the 2010 Serena’s Song at Monmouth Park for Kin Hui, and maternal grandsire Whywhywhy, a Grade 1 winner at one mile in 2002 … “This gelding’s fighting spirit is typical of his family,” he said. … Biancone, who enjoyed success in his native France and Hong Kong before coming to the U.S., accomplished victories in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) in back-to-back years with the exceptional All Along (1983) and Sagace (1984).
|1||True Timber||Joe Bravo||Kiaran McLaughlin||15-1|
|2||Tax||Jose Ortiz||Danny Gargan||8-1|
|3||Diamond Oops||Julien Leparoux||Patrick Biancone||15-1|
|4||Seeking the Soul||John Velazquez||Dallas Stewart||30-1|
|5||Omaha Beach (SCR)||Mike Smith||Richard Mandella||SCR|
|6||Higher Power||Flavien Prat||John Sadler||6-1|
|7||War Story||Joel Rosario||Elizabeth Dobles||30-1|
|8||Mr Freeze||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||20-1|
|5||Spun to Run (SCR)||Javier Castellano||Juan Carlos Guerrero||SCR|
|10||Mucho Gusto||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Bob Baffert||9-2|
|11||Tenfold||Tyler Gaffalione||Steve Asmussen||30-1|
|12||Bodexpress||Emisael Jaramillo||Gustavo Delgado||30-1|
Lynne Snierson, a former director of communications at Arlington Park and Rockingham Park, currently is a freelance writer and racing publicist. She covered thoroughbred racing as an award-winning sportswriter for newspapers In Boston, Miami, and St. Louis. She lives in New Hampshire. Secretariat remains her all-time favorite horse.