Three Diamonds Farm Hoping for Golden End to Kentucky Downs Meet

September 9, 2022

FRANKLIN, Ky.— Kirk Wycoff’s Three Diamonds Farm earned its second victory of the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs as the Joe Sharp-trained Anaconda captured a $170,000 allowance race.

“It’s only two (wins) here and two seconds. But it’s early; we’ve got 10 horses in the next three days,” said Wycoff, who was Kentucky Downs’ leading owner in 2020 with four wins.

Those include Three Diamonds’ Grade 2 winner Field Pass and Wycoff’s son Jordan’s Atone in Saturday’s $1 million WinStar Mint Million, which was rescheduled after being canceled last Saturday because of inclement weather.

Atone, 3-1 in the Global Tote morning line, was third by a total of a head in a tough Saratoga allowance race won by Emaraaty, who then won the Grade 3 Bernard Baruch on Labor Day. Purchased for $130,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s 2021 July sale of horses of racing age, Atone is very consistent while seeking a signature victory.

“At Pimlico this year in the (G2) Dinner Party, we were racing against Chad Brown and Set Piece and decided to take it to them and go to the lead, and it didn’t quite work out,” Wycoff said. “Atone has a big galloping stride, so he needs a place with a three-eighths of a mile lane to finish up with. He likes to win fine. The races have just gotten harder. He was much the best horse at Saratoga in his last race, but he got stuck a little bit inside and didn’t get out in time to win.”

Atone wins an allowance optional claiming at Aqueduct on November 21st, 2021 (NYRA/Coglianese)

“I think Atone’s the favorite,” the elder Wycoff said. “We entered Field Pass in that race because he’s a lighter horse, and lighter horses seem to do well here on the hills. So we like that horse very well. We also have a very good maiden in Saturday, Fire Baron. He ran once at Saratoga, and we think he has a big chance.”

Three Diamonds runs Churchill Downs allowance winner Keystone Field and Glynn County in the $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles — a race trainer Mike Maker has won a record four times.

“Then in the Kentucky Turf Cup, we have two long shots,” Wycoff. “I don’t know if we’ll run both. But Keystone Field won a nice dirt race at Churchill. He was in California and has run some fast numbers on the turf. Of course, if Gufo goes in that race, he’s going to be very tough to beat. And we also entered Glynn County, who just ran in the United Nations. He’s not really been in form this year but loves this track and was second last year in the Kentucky Turf Cup.”

Most of Wycoff’s horses running at Kentucky Downs are trained by Maker, the track’s all-time win leader who is busy working on a record seventh Kentucky Downs training title. While Maker long has made Kentucky Downs a priority, Wycoff’s focus tended to be on the Northeast, including Saratoga.

Glynn County breaks his maiden at Kentucky Downs on September 12th, 2020 (Coady Photography)

“Look, Three Diamonds is based on turf racing,” Wycoff said. “We buy yearlings, 2-year-olds and claim horses to run on turf. So we do like New York and Maryland, but Mike is very good here. He’s the leading all-time trainer, and it’s a beautiful course. I came here with him four or five years ago, wore shorts and sat in the picnic area at the finish line and just fell in love with the place. It’s really good when the days are like this. Obviously it was a tough day Sunday with the rain. But the course is fair, and the horses run well here. So we like it.”

Wycoff said it didn’t take much of a sales pitch for him to put a priority on Kentucky Downs. And it wasn’t really the huge purses.

“Certain horses fit here, and we have a lot of horses in training,” he said. “I think Mike is very good at deciding which ones fit here. He’s won the Kentucky Turf Cup a few times. We pick horses for courses, and obviously the best riders like to ride for Mike because he wins a lot of races.”

Asked how many horses he has in training — ballpark — Wycoff paused and said cheerfully, “Enough to start 25 at Kentucky Downs in seven days.”

By Jennie Rees – Kentucky Downs Press Release

Main photo: Anaconda wins at Kentucky Downs on September 8th (Coady Photography)

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