Woodbine trainer Barbara Minshall has found a cozy spot for Clearview Farms’ expensive filly DIAMOND ORE to try stakes company Sunday, Jan. 24. Minshall, who sent out the half-sister to champion Arrogate to win her maiden at Tampa Bay Downs on Christmas eve, is hoping the daughter of Tapit will pick up some valuable black-type in the five-horse Busanda Stakes worth $100,000 at Aqueduct.
The Busanda is a local qualifier for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, scheduled to be run on April 30 at Churchill Downs, awarding the top four finishers points on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
A $750,000 purchase at the 2018 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, the filly is out of the multiple stakes winning Distorted Humor mare Bubbler and is a half-sister to champion Arrogate, who won the 2016 Travers at Saratoga Race Course in a track record time of 1:59.36.
Diamond Ore made her first three starts on Tapeta for the Woodbine-based Minshall, who captured the 2017 Schuylerville (G3) at Saratoga with Dream It Is and will send out her first representative at Aqueduct since Hollywood Hideaway ran third in the 2017 Artie Schiller.
Following a pair of sprint efforts at Woodbine, Diamond Ore rallied to be second when stretched to two turns for the first time on Nov. 14 at the Ontario oval, garnering a career-best 70 Beyer Speed Figure.
She won her maiden Dec. 24 at Tampa Bay Downs with a 57 Beyer Figure.
Minshall said the well-bred Diamond Ore is ready for her stakes debut.
“With her pedigree any black type is important,” said Minshall. “Hopefully, we can do that for the owners, and she could move forward from this. The horses will tell you where you can go. They sort themselves out. It’s early in the 3-year-old year and this is a good chance to see what she’s got and see how she handles the dirt in more difficult company.”
Minshall said Diamond Ore will appreciate the added distance Sunday and enters with the benefit of additional training at her Ocala, Fla., base on the Winding Oaks Farm dirt, including a five-furlong breeze on Jan. 15 in 1:02 flat.
“The farther she goes the better. She’s very game,” said Minshall. “She’s trained very well on the dirt here at Winding Oaks. I find she’s moved forward with her training. She’s done everything right and deserves a chance to move on.”
Minshall said outside of the addition of jockey Eric Cancel, there will be no changes for Diamond Ore, who will emerge from post 1.
“Everything’s the same. She wears a small cup blinker. She’s pretty straightforward,” said Minshall. “I did race her on Lasix at Woodbine, but she raced at Tampa without it and I didn’t have any problems.”
Sam-Son Farms, which continues to race a sizable stable of horses after selling its broodmares earlier this month, had a winner on Thursday at Gulfstream and have Say the Word in the $1 million Pegasus Turf on Saturday.
PALACE COUP won a $35,000 claiming race at Gulfstream at one mile on the dirt Jan. 21 for Sam-Son. The Ontario-bred by Bernardini – Eye of the Sphynx by Smart Strike is trained by Gail Cox and he led all the way at 5 to 1, racing the distance in 1:356.52.
SAY THE WORD is in post 11 for the 1 3/16 mile Pegasus Turf and the 6-year-old Sam-Son bred now races for his breeder and Agave Racing. At one time a Queen’s Plate starter, Say the Word (More Than Ready) came to life for trainer Cox in 2020 winning in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine. He was recently third in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup for new trainer Phil D’Amato.
Among those Say the Word has to defeat in the Pegasus Turf is Canadian-owned ANOTHERTWISTAFATE owned by Peter Redekop of Vancouver. A 5-year-old horse by Scat Daddy, Anothertwistafate only recently moved to grass racing and he won the Grade 2 San Gabriel at Santa Anita on Jan. 2 for trainer Peter Miller.
*Ontario-bred AWESOME WOK N ROLL has now won two straight races for Live Oak Plantation and trainer Mark Casse. The impeccably bred 5-year-old by Awesome Again from champion sprinting mare El Prado Essence by El Prado (Ire) won his maiden on Dec. 11 at Turfway Park for $30,000 claiming and won again at the same level Jan. 21 by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:36.66 for one mile. Purchased for $650,000 as a 2-year-old in training, Awesome Wok n Roll had placed three times in maiden special weight races in 2018 and 2019. His maiden win was his 8th career start.
*KEYED UP, owned by Colebrook Farms and bred by Graydar Syndicate and Anthony and Leslie Russo, won her maiden at Charles Town Jan. 21 for $10,000 claiming. The filly is by Greydar from Woodbine winner Selembao by Kinshasa.