‘The Light In Our Lives’: Andie Biancone Enjoying The Ride With Breeders’ Cup Hope Diamond Oops

Assistant trainer Andie Biancone took Diamond Oops for a jog over the Keeneland track Thursday morning in preparation for a start in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Biancone has been overseeing the 5-year-old son of Lookin At Lucky’s daily activities at Keeneland this week while subbing for her father, Patrick Biancone, who had been fighting cancer for several months. Although he is cancer-free now, the elder Biancone is in a Covid-19 high-risk group and so opted not to travel from his South Florida base at Palm Meadows Training Center.

Andie Biancone, who serves as his assistant trainer and exercise rider, also has represented her father at the Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby with Sole Volante.

“It’s been a crazy year,” said the 23-year-old Biancone, who admits that her busy schedule has somewhat affected her grades for her online courses at the University of Florida.

She’s able to escape all the craziness for a little while, at least, when she climbs aboard Diamond Oops, who enters the Sprint off back-to-back wins in the Phoenix at Keeneland and the Twin Spires Turf Sprint.

“Even without winning all those races, he’s special to us. My dad always believed in him and has always been high on him. This past year with my dad getting sick, he’s been my escape. I’ve been getting on him every day. It sounds super lame, but it’s like therapy. He has such a big heart. It’s so amazing being around him,” she said.

“I’ve been galloping him for about a year and a half. A couple of months ago, he literally dropped me and he stopped and waited for me to get back on him. He waited for me on the track and I got back on him,” she added. “He’s so intelligent. His last breeze, I got emotional. I was, like ‘What did I do to deserve such an amazing animal in my life?’ ”

The versatile Diamond Oops, who was Grade I stakes-placed on turf and dirt last year, ran in the 2019 Dirt Mile, in which he encountered a troubled start and finished eighth at Santa Anita. He came right back to win the seven-furlong Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream seven weeks later and stretched out to finish fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream. He rallied from 12th to win the 5 1/2-furlong Twin Spires Turf Sprint and stalked the pace before kicking in late to win the Phoenix.

“He has such a big heart and is so intelligent, he’s like a person. He has a huge personality,” Biancone said. “He’s the light in our lives, for my dad, for me.”

Biancone would like to see Diamond Oops get a similar trip in the Sprint as he got in the Phoenix.

“He’s really versatile. You can cover him easily. He’s a really good stalker. Hopefully, he gets a good break and come with that closing kick,” she said. “When he sees another horse in front of him, it’s game on.”

Florent Geroux has the return mount aboard Diamond Oops, who is owned by Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC.

The post ‘The Light In Our Lives’: Andie Biancone Enjoying The Ride With Breeders’ Cup Hope Diamond Oops appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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