Diamond Oops took advantage of a hot pace in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park, closing fast to overhaul even-money favorite Imperial Hint and post a one-length decision. Julien Leparoux was up for Patrick Biancone on the 4-year-old gelding, and Diamond Oops completed seven furlongs in 1:21.36
Owned by Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy E. Dunne, D P Racing and Biancone Racing, Diamond Oops left the starting gate as the 7-2 second choice among six runners. He rated off the pace in fifth as X Y Jet ripped off fractions in :21.92 and :43.85 with Imperial Hint chasing in second.
Imperial Hint accelerated into a clear lead entering the stretch, but the multiple Grade 1 victor had little left for the latter stages as Diamond Oops closed fast to seize the lead in deep stretch.
Lasting Legacy, who was off at 5-1, got up late to nail Imperial Hint by a neck in the final strides for second. Zenden finished another five lengths back in fourth, with Home Base and X Y Jet completing the order of finish.
It marked the second graded stakes victory for Diamond Oops, who captured the Smile Sprint (G3) at Gulfstream in late June before recording a non-threatening second to presumptive sprint champion Mitole in the A.G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga. Diamond Oops showed his versatility finishing second in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland, and he broke poorly when eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in his previous outing.
Diamond Oops won a pair of juvenile of sprint stakes at Gulfstream, the Buffalo Man and Kiss a Native, but raced only once as a 3-year-old. He returned this year with a third in the grassy Crystal River in late May and won Smile when switching back to dirt two starts later.
Bred in Kentucky by Kin Hui Racing Stables, Diamond Oops is the second stakes winner out of the stakes-winning Why Why Why mare Patriotic Viva. He has now earned $646,490 from a 12-5-2-1 record.
Mr. Prospector Quotes
Julien Leparoux: “We obviously knew there was going to be a lot of speed in there. He broke sharp and settled really nice for me. 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.”
Patrick Biancone: “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. We’re very happy with him today. Even though the pace was fast, he was cruising behind them. Julien rode him perfect.”
Luis Carvajal Jr., trainer of Imperial Hint: “Seven furlongs was a little too far. That’s it. That’s all I was worried about. 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 (Arabia race on February 29). It gives us six weeks, almost two months to get him ready. And if all goes well, we’ll jump to Dubai from there.“