“Big Four” Look Dominant in Diarmida

The 18th Running of the G2 Diarmida

March 5, 2022 16:35

GP Race #13 $200.000 13/8 Turf

4yos and up 124 lbs (plus penalties)

Track Record-2:11.35 (Techfluence-2018)

Stakes Record-2:11.24 (Bronze Sabre-2010)

The G2 Diarmida will run for the eighteenth time on Saturday as a field of eight will contest the 11-furlong $200.000 contest that goes as Race #13 at GP.  All eight of the runners will carry the 124-pound minimum, but the field is quite a bit top-heavy with Hindenburg Tour, Billy Joel, Winter Solstice, and Cinnamon Strike; however, that is why races are run on the 3D viewer and not on paper.  Let’s look at the field for the 2022 G2 Diarmida:

#1 Hindenburg Tour (Nakamura Stables/L. Saez): Rail horse made a winning 6yo debut in HOU G3 where he made all and looks to be just as good as ever.  Seems to let you know fairly early if he’s on his game as he runs big when he breaks with the lead group and just kind of plods when he doesn’t.  Have to think he will be on the gas from the start with this draw and he is a definite win candidate.

#2 Key Biscayne (TwinTowersRacing/J.R. Velazquez): 6yo has taken plenty of swings at the graded level but is still winless in six such starts.  He does own a place effort as well as a show try in those starts, but he will need to show drastic improvement to get the best of this group.  Feels like anything better than fifth would be a positive result in this spot.

#3 You (Night Rider Stables/J.J. Castellano): Last seen winning an $8.000 N3L claimer, he was purchased for $20.000 soon after and pointed for this spot.  This is a big leap of faith, but this conditioner has cashed on these types of gambles before.  That being said, it’s hard to envision a scenario where he gets the best of the big four signed on for this.

#4 Billy Joel (La Canada Racehorses/T. Gaffalione): BC winner at three and BC participant at four, he started his 5yo campaign with a win in the local G3 prep for this and looks to keep the good time rolling.  Other than the occasional head-scratcher, there aren’t many chinks in this guy’s armor.  He’ll need a big effort to win this, obviously, but he should have every opportunity to get his picture taken after they cross the wire.

#5 Winter Solstice (John Henry/A. Cedillo): 7yo is the elder statesman of this group, but he had two G1 wins last season as well as a G2 triumph, so there’s still some tread on his tires.  Last handful of races leave a lot to be desired, but, if he is right, he can still get the best of these types and he should get a favorable pace scenario to complement his late run.  He may not win on Saturday, but think he makes his run and they’ll fear him late.

#6 Cinnamon Strike (Smokey Stover/Mario Gutierrez): Depending on what the one and four do coming-out of the gate, this guy looks to sit a really good trip.  At worst, he’s going to be 3rd and on the rail, but he could conceivably be sitting just off of the pace in the two-path as well.  5yo has yet to beat the division’s best at these trips, but he’s riding high with a three-race winning streak and may be ready for Saturday’s opportunity to show he’s a force to be reckoned with.

#7 A New Car (Gdp Inc/J.C. Ferrer): 5yo will be making his 10th lifetime start, so there is some upside potential here.  That being said, this will be, by far, the best collection of talent he has lined up against.  He gets a class test and a new distance that he must master at first asking.  He may make me eat my words but going to let him beat me. 

#8 Pinot (Witeout Stables/C. Sutherland): 4yo takes a big step up in competition and has to do so from the widest gate.  All of his best work has come going much shorter trips against fields that have no resemblance to what he faces here.  All of that sprint form suggests he should be involved early but even that is an assumption.  Can’t blame anyone for taking their shot, but hard to envision him getting the best of this group.

Final Analysis: Really hard to get past Billy Joel without inventing scenarios, so we’ll go chalk and say they cross the wire 4-1-6-5 in the G2 Diarmida.  Good luck to all of the connections.  

Categories: Grade II, Races, STAKES ARTICLES

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