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LOUISVILLE, KY – A hedge-skimming late surge put Diamond Oops ahead in the final jumps to win Friday’s $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Sysco (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from the rail under Florent Geroux as the 4/1 second choice, Diamond Oops fell back off the pace as seemingly everyone flew early. Wellabled dueled narrowly ahead and inside of Just Might through opening fractions of :22.58 and :45.85.
Wellabled fell off shortly after exiting the far turn and forced an improving Diamond Oops to shift momentarily off the rail, but he then dove back down while continuing to pass tiring foes.
Sneaking underneath a struggling Just Might in deep stretch, Diamond Oops overtook the 2/1 favorite Extravagant Kid in the shadow of the wire and crossed first by a neck.
The Patrick Biancone trainee was a neck clear in a final time of 1:04.18 for the 5 1/2-furlong dash over a turf course rated good.
“He ran big,” Geroux said. “He’s an amazing horse. Patrick always told me this horse has a little bit of some kind of physical problems, but he has the heart of a champion. He’ll run on any kind of surface, any distance, from 6 furlongs to a mile … he runs turf, he runs dirt, he does everything.”
Extravagant Kid was 1 length clear of a three-horse photo finish for third that went to Just Might by a neck and a head over Chaps and Real News, respectively.
Smart Remark nosed out Carotari for sixth, while behind them came Chief Cicatriz, Tell Your Daddy, Fielder, and Wellabled to complete the order of finish.
Bound for Nowhere, High Crime, and Tiger Blood were scratched.
Diamond Oops’ win was his first of the year and improved his overall record to 15-6-3-1 with $938,590 earned for co-owners Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy Dunne, D P Racing, and Patrick Biancone Racing. The 5-year-old Lookin At Lucky gelding may next appear in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland in early October, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile that he came within 3/4 of a length of winning last year.
Diamond Oops returned $10 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.40 to show. Extravagant Kid brought back $3.40 to place and $3 to show, while Just Might paid $5.40 to show.
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