Dust and Diamonds the one to beat in Sugar Swirl
|Dust and Diamonds had plenty of class rivals behind her at the finish of the Gallant Bloom
Dust and Diamonds, who emerged as one of the leading female sprinters in the
country in her past two starts, will make her debut for new owner Stud TNT and
trainer Todd Pletcher in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000
Swirl at Gulfstream Park. The six-furlong dash, the first graded event of
the 2012-13 Gulfstream season, has attracted a field of seven fillies and mares.
A four-year-old daughter of Vindication, Dust and Diamonds was previously
trained by Steve Asmussen, who conditioned the filly to an 8-1 upset win of the
Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park at Belmont Park in late
September. A multiple allowance and minor stakes winner heading into the Gallant
Bloom, Dust and Diamonds defeated a strong field that included divisional
champion Musical Romance and multiple Grade 1 heroine Turbulent Descent.
In her final start for Asmussen, in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare
Sprint at Santa Anita, Dust and Diamonds finished a clear second to presumptive
female sprint champion Groupie Doll, who overcame both a wide trip and track
bias favoring front runners to win by more than four lengths. Dust and Diamonds
was 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Switch, who had run second in the previous two
editions of the Filly & Mare Sprint.
Consigned to the Fasig-Tipton November Sale three days after her Breeders'
Cup effort, Dust and Diamonds was gaveled down to Stud TNT for $900,000.
Sacristy, one of two three-year-olds in the Sugar Swirl lineup, kicked off
2012 with a victory in the course-and-distance Grade 3 Old Hat against her
peers. The Wayne Catalano trainee has raced sporadically since May, but has been
a consistent check earner when kept to races under a mile. In her most recent
outing, she was four lengths second to Keeneland ace Gypsy Robin in the Grade 2
Raven Run on October 20.
Others in the field are Calder mainstays Spectacular Sky and Nakano, both of
whom have placed in graded company this year; Honey Chile, who won an allowance
and finished second in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at the last
Gulfstream meet; multiple allowance winner Hearts of Red, who has placed in both
of her previous main track stakes appearances; and Golden Mystery, who ran a
close second to Musical Romance at Calder in early October.
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