Diodoro Eyes Saratoga’s Birdstone For Dominating Brooklyn Winner Lone Rock

Flying P Stable’s Lone Rock has become a master of 12-furlong marathons, winning his third consecutive start in a 1 1/2-mile contest by capturing Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn presented by Northwell Health on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

Trainer Robertino Diodoro earned his first career graded stakes wins at a New York track when Lone Rock dominated a nine-horse Brooklyn field to win by 11 1/4 lengths. The gelded son of Majestic Warrior earned the first career triple digit Beyer Speed Figure of his 33-start career, garnering an even 100 after pressuring Musical Heart’s early pace in second position before powering away a winner in a final time of 2:28.97 over a fast main track.

“He’s a nice horse who is just getting better,” Diodoro said. “Horses are athletes. Sometimes, they are late bloomers. He’s a horse who thrives on training, and you need that if you’re going to run a mile and a half. The more we train him, the stronger he gets.”

Lone Rock is 4-1-0 in five starts in his 6-year-old campaign, which started with an optional claiming victory going 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy and sealed Oaklawn Park track in February. Lone Rock was then stretched out to 12 furlongs for the first time next out and ran second by a neck to Carlos L. in the Temperance Hill in March at Oaklawn before posting a 6 3/4-length win against optional claimers at the same distance and track a month later.

That effort gave Diodoro confidence to enter him in the Isaac Murphy Marathon in April at Churchill Downs, and a 3 3/4-length win there prompted a more ambitious spot in the 132nd running of the Brooklyn. Lone Rock took advantage of the opportunity, earning his first graded stakes win in a career that started in 2017 when he broke his maiden at third asking at Indiana Grand Race Course.

“It goes back to his training; he does it so easy,” Diodoro said. “He’s a big horse with a long stride. Yesterday, he probably could have went another time around.”

Lone Rock, who has trained at Belmont, Oaklawn and Churchill this year, could next be in action for the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, with his conditioner citing the $120,000 Birdstone for older horses going 1 3/4 miles on August 5 as a possibility.

“We’ll definitely take him to Saratoga for the race going a mile and three-quarters; that most likely will be his next stop,” he said.

Diodoro won his second graded stakes since 2018 and the first of the year with Saturday’s effort.

“For our team, we’ve been winning races at most of the places where we’ve been and it’s been a good year so far, but we had been in a dry spell for winning these big races,” Diodoro said. “So, we couldn’t get a better place or time than to win it on Belmont Stakes Day. The team needed it. All the assistants and workers were pumped up. We needed a win like that.”

The post Diodoro Eyes Saratoga’s Birdstone For Dominating Brooklyn Winner Lone Rock appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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