Robertino Diodoro gets his 300th Win at Oaklawn with Adaline Julia. (Coady Photography)
Oaklawn Barn Notes by Robert Yates
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.—Robertino Diodoro became the 15th trainer in Oaklawn history to reach 300 career victories when Adaline Julia captured Saturday’s fourth race, a $103,000 entry-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares.
Adaline Julia came two weeks after Diodoro reached another career milestone at Oaklawn, becoming just the 37th trainer in North American history (United States and Canada) to record 3,000 victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.
“It’s been a good run,” Diodoro said during training hours Sunday morning. “All starts with the help and owners. If you don’t have those, you got nothing.”
Diodoro, who turned 49 last Monday, began racing at Oaklawn for the first time in 2015 and has become a dominant figure in Hot Springs, a meet he now points for, highlighted by his first local training title in 2020 and a torrid start at the 2022-2023 meeting that began Dec. 9.
Diodoro won 51 races in 2020, becoming the fourth trainer in Oaklawn history to reach 50 victories at a meet. He topped the 2022-2023 standings through Saturday, Day 17 of the scheduled 68-day meeting, with 22 victories from just 65 starts. Diodoro ($1,044,489) also became the first trainer at the meeting to surpass $1 million in purse earnings with Adaline Julia’s victory. Cristian Torres rode Adaline Julia ($6.40) for owner Jerry Caroom of Hot Springs. Diodoro added his 301st Oaklawn victory, and 3,015th in North America, when Totalizer ($7.60) won Saturday’s seventh race.
“It’s been a great meet,” Diodoro said. “It’s a team effort, that’s what I always say.”
In addition to the 2020 title, Diodoro also finished second to perennial Oaklawn champion Steve Asmussen in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2021-2022. Diodoro’s fast start in 2022-2023 includes a meet-high three stakes victories, increasing his career Oaklawn total to 13.
Diodoro entered Sunday with 301 victories from 1,263 starts and purse earnings of $12,444,670 in his Oaklawn career.
Millionaire multiple Grade 2 winner Lone Rock returned to the work tab Sunday morning at Oaklawn, covering 3 furlongs in :36.40 under regular exercise rider Sarah Shaffer. Lone Rock, a multiple Oaklawn stakes winner and unraced since late July, galloped out a half-mile in :49.20. The track was fast. Trainer Robertino Diodoro has said the $150,000 Temperence Hill Stakes for older horses at 1 ½ miles April 2 at Oaklawn could be one potential 2023 target for Lone Rock. The 8-year-old gelding won the 2022 Temperence Hill. …
Cristian Torres, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 2022-2023, recorded his second four-win day of the meet Saturday. Torres won the second race aboard favored Peace Dog ($4.40) for owner/trainer Ernie Witt II of Hot Springs, fourth race aboard Adaline Julia($6.40) for trainer Robertino Diodoro and owner Jerry Caroom of Hot Springs, fifth race aboard Atta Party ($6) for trainer Miguel Angel Silva and the seventh race aboard Totalizer ($7.60) for Diodoro. Torres also rode four winners Dec. 10. Torres began riding at Oaklawn during the 2021 meeting. He established a single-season Oaklawn personal best for victories with Saturday’s four-bagger, which increased his total 25. Torres rode 22 winners in 2021. Torres (a meet-high $1,424,217 through Saturday) has already smashed his previous single-season personal best for purse earnings at Oaklawn. He had $1,034,104 in 2021. Saturday was Day 17 of the scheduled 68-day meeting. …
Trainer Chris Hartman entered Sunday with 199 career victories, including 14 this season to rank second in the standings. Hartman had two horses entered Sunday at Oaklawn. … Hartman said Saturday morning that Klassy Bridgette, a two-time winner at the meeting, probably goes next in the $150,000 Dixie Belle Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters Feb. 11 at Oaklawn. Klassy Bridgette became the first Oaklawn winner for her sire, Grade 1 winner Army Mule, when she broke her maiden Dec. 11. …
Kelsi Harr entered Sunday with $2,782,961 in career purse earnings at Oaklawn, just behind Cindy Murphy’s record $2,792,644 for a female jockey. The bulk of Murphy’s total came between 1997 and 2006 when she rode mostly as Cindy Noll. Harr, who began riding at Oaklawn in 2019, was named on three horses Sunday. Harr ($1,187,724) became the first female rider in Oaklawn history to surpass $1 million in purse earnings at a meet last season.