LEXINGTON, Ky. – M & M Racing of Mike Sisk zoomed to the top of the Keeneland owner standings Friday with three winners from three starters. All were ridden by David Cohen and trained by Robertino Diodoro.
“There was a lot of texting going on yesterday afternoon,” Diodoro said. “I think he was in Dallas. He hasn’t been in the game long, but we need more owners like him.”
Friday rivaled the day that Godolphin and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had April 15, 2017, here when they won with all four entrants, including Dickinson in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) and Watershed in the Ben Ali (G3).
“I don’t think I have gone three-for-three for the same owner in one day,” Diodoro said. “And definitely not at Keeneland, and that’s the most important thing.”
Nomizar started the day with a 10¾-length romp in the second race at odds of 3-1. New Mexico-bred Ghostly Who won the fourth race by 7½ lengths at odds of 6-1, and Strike That took the eighth race by a head at 6-1.
Diodoro, whose main base of operations was Turf Paradise for 10 years before he relocated to Oaklawn Park, is a relative newcomer to the Kentucky circuit.
“A year or two ago, I tried to get more involved,” said Diodoro, who has ranked third in wins in North America the past two years. “You can’t beat the facilities here, at Churchill and at Ellis and the purses are good.”
Diodoro began training in 1995 and has amassed more than 2,500 wins. However, things really began to take off in 2014 with Diodoro averaging more than 230 victories a year with a 23-26 percent win rate.
“I’m only one person,” Diodoro said. “I’ve got good owners and they are good guys and I’ve got good help with guys that have been with me for a while.”
Among the horses Diodoro has here is Southern Equine Stable’s Keepmeinmind, runner-up in last Saturday’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) who is pointing toward the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
“He is doing well,” said Diodoro, whose previous Breeders’ Cup starter was Grade 3 winner Broadway Empire, who finished ninth in the Dirt Mile (G1) in 2013. “(Keepmeinmind) will work next weekend, but for now we are taking it day by day.”
During his banner day on Friday, Diodoro had two other runners for Heads Up Racing finish third in two races behind his runners. For the meet, he is 100 percent in the money with a 9-4-2-3 mark.
His 10th starter, Blacktop Legend, comes in this afternoon’s fourth race.
“He is in a little deep,” Diodoro said. “It is his first time for us.”
Photo: Robertino Diodoro got his 2,000th career win at Saratoga in August 2018. Credit: NYRA/Adam Coglianese