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)
Entering Saturday’s $200.000 G2 Diarmida, Cinnamon Strike was riding a three-race winning streak. With the iron still hot, Cinnamon Strike did just that and left GP toting a four-race winning streak and his 2nd G2. Completing the 11-furlongs on the firm south Florida inner turf in 2:11.89, Cinnamon Strike was a one-length winner over Winter Solstice in a strung-out field. Cinnamon Strike now sports an 18-7-4-1 ledger with earnings of $504.000 and appears headed for a big season in turf division.
Hindenburg Tour, breaking from the rail, was away best of all and quickly established an unopposed lead over the eventual winner, who was his closest competitor, and nothing changed through a fairly quick opening quarter. Everything changed, however, when Billy Joel decided he didn’t feel like rating off of the pace and made an early move for the lead as they rounded the first of three turns. Billy Joel continued his run through the wire for the first time and it was the former BC Turf champion posting an opening half-mile in :47.48. Considering how much ground he gave Hindenburg Tour at the start, that opening half probably took a little more steam out of Billy Joel than a “normal” :47.48 half-mile would have.
As Billy Joel finally cleared Hindenburg Tour after completing six-furlongs in 1:11.06, Cinnamon Strike was just a length off of the latter, and Mario Gutierrez had to be liking the way things were unfolding in front of him. Going down the backside for the second time, Cinnamon Strike started making progress on the two front runners, and by the time Billy Joel completed a mile in 1:35.01, Cinnamon Strike had him dead in his sights. Rounding the last bend, Cinnamon Strike made the pass on Billy Joel and was quick to get separation on the field. By the time he reached the furlong-marker, the Cinnamon Strike had increased his advantage to 2-3 lengths and looked every bit a winner. Winter Solstice and Key Biscayne did their best to keep him honest, but Cinnamon Strike was just too good on this day and that duo would have to settle for second and third, respectively. Billy Joel finished fourth and was followed across the wire by A New Car, Hindenburg Tour, You, and Pinot.
Congratulations to Cinnamon Strike and his trainer, Smokey Stover, on their victory in the G2 Diarmida at GP.