Florent Geroux’s hedge-skimming ride aboard Diamond Oops in the $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) capped a five-win afternoon for the jockey on Friday’s Kentucky Oaks card at Churchill Downs, which also included victories aboard champion Monomoy Girl and an upset triumph in the Oaks with Shedaresthedevil.
Making his first start since June and only his second since late January, Diamond Oops was last of 12 after a quarter-mile and still had only two beaten after three furlongs. However, the 5-year-old had a generally clear path ahead of him with much of the field staying off the inside on the good turf after recent rains.
Advancing through the field in upper stretch and only momentarily leaving the one path to get past a tiring rival, Diamond Oops was sent back to the hedge by Geroux inside the final sixteenth and wore down 2-1 favorite Extravagant Kid to win by a neck in a time of 1:04.18 for 5 1/2 furlongs.
Owned by the partnership of Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy Dunne, D P Racing, and trainer Patrick Biancone, Diamond Oops returned $10 as the 4-1 second choice. Extravagant Kid had a length on Just Might, who was followed by Chaps, Real News, Smart Remark, Carotari, Jazzy Times, Chief Cicatriz, Tell Your Daddy, Fielder, and the pacesetting Wellabled.
This was the first win in four tries on turf for Diamond Oops, who last season captured the Smile Sprint (G3) at 6 furlongs and Mr. Prospector (G3) at 7 furlongs on dirt. However, the versatile gelding ran commendably to finish second in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) in back-to-back starts last year, and was also a fair fourth in the 9-furlong Pegasus World Cup (G1) two starts back.
“Patrick always told me this horse has a little bit of some kind of physical problems, but he has the heart of a champion,” Geroux said. “He’ll run on any kind of surface, any distance, from 6 furlongs to a mile. We saw him last year when he almost pulled it off in the Shadwell Turf Mile. I have no idea what’s next for him, because he runs turf, he runs dirt, he does everything.”
Bred in Kentucky by Kin Hui Racing Stables, Diamond Oops is by Lookin at Lucky and out of the stakes-winning Patriotic Viva, by Whywhywhy. His record now stands at 15-6-3-1, $938,590.