OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Returning to New York to make his first start since finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap in October at Belmont Park, Cash is King and LC Racing’s Diamond King cruised to a polished victory in the $125,000 Stymie on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Breaking alertly from post 6 at odds of 4-1 with Kendrick Carmouche aboard, Diamond King settled in second position along the rail with Stan the Man in front as the pair led the field of seven through fractions of 23.93 seconds for the opening quarter mile with the half going in 47.23.
Tipped to the outside of Stan The Man at the quarter-pole, Diamond King gained the lead into the top of the stretch with American Anthem in close pursuit. Fully extended, he separated himself from the rest to finish 1 ¼ lengths ahead of American Anthem for the victory.
His winning time was 1:38.04 for the one-mile distance over a fast main track.
“I was sitting comfortable,” said winning jockey Carmouche who earned his second stakes win of the winter meet with the victory. “I didn’t want to make the lead too early. Around the turn, I asked him to go because Manuel [Franco, aboard American Anthem] was putting pressure on me, so I just let my horse run away from the other ones. He never really took off. I thought I had more horse, but he kept me there, and I just kept motivating him.”
Returning $10.20 for a $2 win wager, the 5-year-old Quality Road horse boosted his career earnings to $713,350 for winning conditioner John Servis.
“It was a very nice win,” said Servis. “The track is kind of deep and heavy I was a bit concerned with him coming off the layoff but he ran really well. He was training really, really well. All I was concerned about was the track, but he handled it very well.”
Looking ahead, Servis has eyed the Charles Town Classic in which Diamond King ran second last year for his next start.
“It looks like we’re going to shoot for the Charles Town Classic again and see if we get lucky,” added Servis. “We got beat a half-length last year but he ran really well.”
Manny Franco was full of praised for the hard-trying American Anthem
“I had the trip that I wanted, stalking the pace,” said Franco. “I knew the two horses on the inside had more speed than my horse. When they cleared me, I ended up in the perfect position. I have to give credit to the winner. He ran real hard and never stopped.”
Rallying to finish third was Backsideofthemoon followed by Lone Rock, Wicked Track, Stand the Man, and Joevia.
Via NYRA Press Release