Photo courtesy of Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin
By Tom LaMarra, @BH_TLaMarra
Dust and Diamonds produced a quick return on her purchase at auction in November with an easy victory in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 8.
The 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Vindication out of the Gone West mare Majestically is owned by Borges Torreabla Holdings and Three Chimneys Farm. She was purchased for $900,000 by Borges Torrealba Holdings from the Three Chimneys consignment at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale.
In her previous start, Dust and Diamonds finished second to Groupie Doll, the probable filly and mare sprint champion of 2012, in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park for trainer Steve Asmussen. She has since moved into the barn of Todd Pletcher.
With John Velazquez riding, the 123-pound highweight Dust and Diamonds dueled with front-running Honey Chile in the Sugar Swirl before taking over on the far turn and drawing away to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Farnsworth Stables' Golden Mystery rallied wide for second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Nakano in third. Sacristy was fourth, with Honey Chile and Hearts of Red trailing.
Dust and Diamonds covered six furlongs in a swift 1:08.66 on a fast track following earlier quarter mile fractions of :22.92 and :45.17. The Gulfstream record of 1:08.11 was set by Big Drama in 2011.
The winner paid $3 as the heavy favorite in a field of six.
"She broke really well and it was pretty easy," Velazquez said. "Once she broke I just set my hands down and held her together. The horse on the outside didn't have the speed and didn't break very good, so I just held my ground and kept her farther out of there just to hold my position good and not have her move to soon.
"I just sat until the three-eighths pole and gave her head, and the rest was easy. She's a nice horse."
"I'm very pleased," Pletcher said "I don't know what else she could have done, running six furlongs in 1:08-and-3 and winning under a hand ride."
Dust and Diamonds, bred by previous owner Padua Stables, has now won six of 11 starts with one second and four thirds for earnings of $496,260. The filly has never finished worse than third, and in September won the grade II Gallant Bloom Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
DUST AND DIAMONDS TAKES SUGAR SWIRL
Photo courtesy of Coglianese Photos/Kenny Martin