Diodoro tries for Bing Crosby with Subtle Indian

July 29, 2016 12:11pm
Subtle Indian wins 2016 Hot Springs
Photo: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park

Trainer Robertino Diodoro watched on television from Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota, as Patriots Rule provided him with his first Del Mar stakes victory in Sunday’s $150,000 California Dreamin’.

“That’s (Canterbury) kind of our home base in the summertime,” Diodoro said Friday morning from the Del Mar stable area. “My girlfriend and I have a house there and that’s where a big chunk of our horses are in the summer.”

Diodoro, 42, makes the trip to Del Mar every three or four weeks depending on his horses. In the winter, Turf Paradise in Phoenix is his main base with a string also at Santa Anita.

The tracks where Diodoro has won stakes, which Del Mar just joined, he estimates now number around a dozen. A recent count showed Diodoro in charge of 132 runners in the U.S. and Canada.

“He (Patriot’s Rule) ran a heck of a race,” Diodoro said. “Any time you can win a stake going a mile and a sixteenth off an 11-month layoff, the help, and especially my assistant Sean (Williams) here, deserve a lot of credit. He was ready.”

“When you’re spread out the way we are, you have to have good help and when I use the word awesome to describe my three assistants, I really mean it,” Diodoro said. “They’re all really good guys and team players.”

Having broken into the stakes win column here five days ago, Diodoro is hunting two more in a three-day period. He’ll saddle 7-5 morning-line favorite My California in Friday’s $100,000 CTBA Stakes and come back on Sunday with Subtle Indian, 5-2 second choice on the morning line in the Grade I $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes.

“They’re both doing great,” Diodoro said of his weekend stakes horses. “You hate the inside draws for both of them.  But at the same time, Subtle Indian drew the No. 2 hole and, if you look at his form he’s 3-for-3 from the No. 1 post, which is pretty good for a sprinter.

“Mike Smith was impressed with Subtle Indian’s work the other day (5f, 1:00.60) and they both have taken well to the track and the surroundings down here. You always worry about that. Even if it’s only two hours south from Santa Anita the surfaces are different and sometimes horses can go a little funny on you.”

Like the other four rivals she faces in the CTBA, a 5 ½-furlong race for California-bred fillies, My California has one win in two starts. But that was by 9 ½ lengths on June 16 at Santa Anita with a highest speed figure of any CTBA entrant.

“We were surprised at how she won, but we’ve felt all along that she’s a very good filly,” Diodoro said. My California is a daughter of Calimonco owned by Mercedes Stable LLC.

Subtle Indian has made six starts in 2016, four at Oaklawn Park and two at Santa Anita, and has yet to finish worse than second. His $486,400 in earnings this year have raised his career total to $600,300.

The four-year-old Indian Charlie gelding won the Grade III Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April before being second to Wild Dude in the Kona Gold and Lord Nelson in the Triple Bend at Santa Anita.

Eleven years ago, trainer David Hofmans saddled Greg’s Gold to win the Bing Crosby Stakes.

“Went 1:08 and change (1:08.04), David Flores rode him and I believe he was No. 5,” Hofmans said Friday morning here. “You don’t forget your Grade I wins. I have the winner’s circle photo on the wall of my office at Santa Anita.”

On Sunday, Hofmans will hope to create another Grade I memory here when he saddles Home Run Kitten in the $300,000 6-furlong race which often determines the sprint champion of the meeting. Hofmans also entered Bluegrass Bronco, but said Friday that horse would be scratched for a different race.

“There’s a lot of speed in the race and we’re hoping that there’ll be a duel up front and we can come running late and we’ll pick up the pieces,” Hofmans said. “It’s a tough race though.”

Home Run Kitten, a 5-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy owned by Tarabilla Farms, was fourth in the Grade I seven-furlong Triple Bend at Santa Anita on June 25, beaten 2 ¾ lengths by Lord Nelson, who finished a half-length in front of Subtle Indian. Lord Nelson and Subtle Indian are both entered in the Crosby.

The field from the rail: Justin Squared (Martin Pedroza, 15-1), Subtle Indian (Mike Smith, 5-2), Dream Saturday (Martin Garcia, 6-1), Indexical (Santiago Gonzalez, 10-1), Kaabraaj (Edwin Maldonado, 20-1), Bluegrass Bronco (Guiseppe Ercegovic, 20-1), Home Run Kitten (Joe Talamo, 8-1), Lord Nelson (Flavien Prat, 2-1) and Alsvid (Chris Landeros, 5-1).

The jubilation of a solid 3 ¾-length victory by Bad Ju Ju in Thursday’s second race was short-lived for trainer Mike Machowsky. Not unexpectedly, the 4-year-old filly was claimed away, for $32,000, by a group that includes the San Diego-based Great Friends Stable.

Bad Ju Ju, a daughter of Desert Code and the mare Ju Ju Baby, will go to the stable of trainer Doug O’Neill, the winner of the “shake” among three others who had put in claims on the filly.

“Hopefully they (new connections) are smart enough to keep Kayla (Stra) on her,” Machowsky said, somewhat wistfully, Friday morning. “She’s the only one to win on her. It’s funny how those two get along. Kayla comes around and that filly relaxes, just like that.”

Thursday’s victory was No. 4 four in 12 starts for Bad Ju Ju. All the wins have come with Stra in the irons. Bad Ju Ju is 4-for-7 under Stra, 0-for-5 under four other riders.

Ju Ju Baby was bearing the foal that would be named Bad Ju Ju when she came under Machowsky’s care more than four years ago. But losing horses in the claiming game is part  of the business, especially during the Del Mar summer season.

“I’d claim her back if she shows up in the right spot,” Machowsky said.
CLOSERS -- American Cleopatra, a full sister to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, is entered to make her racing debut in Sunday’s third race and is the co-third choice, at 4-1, in a field of eight on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line. Stewart Elliott will be in the irons … A planned workFriday for Melatonin has been postponed for about a week after the Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner was found to be running a temperature … Selected works from 105 officially timed Friday morning: La Boheme (4f, :49.60), Morganite (4f, :47.40), Patentar (4f, :49.60), Pretty N Cool (4f, :47.40), Bolo (5f, 1:00.40) and Go Long (6f, 1:12.40).

Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club


comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Top Stories