Diamond Oops Gives Geroux Fifth Win On Oaks Day In Twin Spires Turf Sprint

Breaking from the No. 1 post position and saving ground throughout, Diamond Oops rallied from last to win Friday’s Grade 2 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., giving jockey Florent Geroux his fifth win of the afternoon on the Kentucky Oaks day card.

Owned by Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy E. Dunne, D P Racing LLC and Patrick L. Biancone Racing LLC, the 5-year-old gelding by Lookin At Lucky is trained by Biancone. He covered 5 1/2 furlongs on turf rated good in 1:04.18 and paid $10 as the 4-1 second choice in the wagering.

Extravagant Kid, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, finished second as the 2-1 favorite, beaten a neck, with Just Might a length back in third and Chaps fourth in the field of 12 older turf sprinters.

The win was the first on grass for Diamond Oops, who was bred in Kentucky by Kin Hui Racing Stables and produced from the Whywhywhy mare, Patriotic Viva. His best previous turf performance in three starts came last fall at Keeneland when second, beaten three-quarters of a length by Bowies Hero, in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile while battling on the front end throughout.

Diamond Oops was shuffled back to the back of the field after the break as Wellable led the field through an opening quarter mile in :22.58 under pressure from Just Might. The latter took command on the turn, the half mile clocked in :45.85, but Extravagant Kid quickly emerged on the scene and appeared to be headed to victory.

Geroux and Diamond Oops began passing horses on the turn after trailing early, following Extravagant Kid on the inside. He came off the rail to pass Wellabled in midstretch, then closed strongly for the win.

“He ran big. He’s an amazing horse,” said Geroux. “Patrick (Biancone) 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 six furlongs to a mile. We saw him last year when he almost pulled it off in the (Grade1) Shadwell Turf Mile. I have no idea what’s next for him, because he runs turf, he runs dirt, he does everything.”

Winner of two G3 races in 2019 at Gulfstream Park, the Smile Sprint and Mr. Prospector, Diamond Oops finished fourth behind Mucho Gusto in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Jan. 25. Given 4 1/2 months off, Diamond Oops then ran second in an overnight handicap at Gulfstream in June and trained up to the Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Palm Meadows in South Florida.

The victory in the $250,000 race was worth $144,150, upping his earnings to $938,590. He’s won six of 15 career starts.

Brendan Walsh, who trained runner-up Extravagant Kid, said: “He ran well. Looked like he had the race won. He did that the one time he got beat here at Churchill, he made the front a little too soon. But in fairness to (jockey) Tyler (Gaffalione), he thought he had everybody covered. You can’t just sit on him. He had to go with it, and we got caught out. But hat’s off to the winner. They won the race. But he showed up again. We can’t ask for much more than that. It would have been nice to win, but there you go.”

Geroux’s five wins came in race 5 aboard Travel Column, a 2-year-old filly from the first crop of Frosted who was impressive breaking her maiden in her debut; in race 7 with Flabbergasted in an allowance race; in race 11, the G1 La Troienne aboard Monomoy Girl; and race 12 aboard Shedaresthedevil in the G1 Kentucky Oaks.

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