Diodoro Watch: Nears a Milestone 

January 7, 2023

Robertino Diodoro. (Coady Photography)

Oaklawn Barn Notes by Robert Yates

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.—Robertino Diodoro entered Friday needing two victories to become just the 37th trainer in North American history to reach 3,000 in a career, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

Diodoro had six horses entered Friday, including five at Oaklawn – Released (15-1 on the morning line) and Trumpence (7-2) in the fifth race, Peaceful Street (5-1) in the sixth race, Tizhotndusty (10-1) in the eighth race and Canadian Pride (20-1) in the ninth race. Diodoro’s other entrant was at Delta Downs.

Diodoro moved his career total to 2,996 (United States and Canada) with a double Jan. 1 at Oaklawn and added victories Tuesday at Turf Paradise and Thursday at Delta Downs. 

Diodoro led the 2022-2023 Oaklawn standings with 13 victories through the first nine days of the meeting that began Dec. 9. 

Diodoro entered Friday with 292 career Oaklawn victories. Diodoro started his first horse at Oaklawn in 2015 and won 51 races to capture the 2020 training title. Diodoro saddled his first career winner recognized by Equibase Aug. 2, 1995, at the now-defunct Northlands Park in his native Canada. 

Diodoro has six horses entered Saturday at Oaklawn and six Sunday.

Finish Lines

Southern California-based trainer Peter Miller, who has small string this season in Hot Springs, finished second with his initial starter of the 2022-2023 meeting, Hail Columbia, Jan. 1. Miller is scheduled to have his second starter of the meeting (El Tigre Terrible) in Saturday’s second race. … 

Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Whelen Springs is scheduled to make his 4-year-old debut in Sunday’s eighth race, a $106,000 third-level allowance sprint, for trainer John Ortiz and Arkansas breeder/owner John Ed Anthony. Whelen Springs, who adds blinkers, won the $150,000 Rainbow Stakes for Arkansas-breds at 6 furlongs and beat open company in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes at 6 furlongs. Both races at the 2021-2022 Oaklawn meeting were for 3-year-olds. … 

Defining Purpose received a preliminary 79 Beyer Speed Figure, a career high, for her 5 ¼-length victory in the inaugural $150,000 Year’s End Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 1 mile Dec. 31 at Oaklawn. Trainer Kenny McPeek said Defining Purpose will be pointed to the $200,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 28. The 1 1/16-mile Martha Washington is Oaklawn’s first of three Kentucky Oaks points races. …

Call Me Jamal, who was shelved with a leg injury on the eve of the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (G1) last April at Oaklawn, is scheduled to return to Hot Springs in the next month, trainer Mike Puhich said. Puhich said Call Me Jamal resumed training last August and is completing final preparations for his return to Oaklawn at Pegasus Training & Rehabilitation Center, the suburban Seattle facility of the 4-year-old gelding’s owner, Mark DeDomenico. “He’s almost ready to run,” Puhich said. “We’re getting him ready there.” Call Me Jamal ran three times at the 2021-2022 Oaklawn meeting, winning a maiden special weight and entry-level allowance and finishing seventh in the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles. …

Post positions for the $150,000 Fifth Season Stakes for older horses will be drawn Monday. The 1-mile race is Jan. 14. …

“Oaklawn Raceday,” featuring David Longinotti, director of Oaklawn Anywhere, and Equibase representative Jeff Taylor, can be heard Saturdays 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. (Central) during the 2022-2023 meeting on Little Rock, Ark., radio station KABZ-FM 103.7 and www.1037thebuzz.comDaily Racing Form handicapper/correspondent Mary Rampellini is this week’s special guest. 

@jonathanstettin you are clearly not human!!!! Thanks for the zillionth time for #membership and @Tracking_Trips! 💰💰

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