I’ve spoken to several folks about Diplo (Pleasant Tap – Blackjack Angel – Polish Numbers) over the past few days and my take on him is that the poor bugger has run into a hot horse every time he’s been on the racetrack. He’s tried hard and nearly gotten there, but can’t seem to make it happen. On Kentucky Derby Day out at Hollywood Park, Diplo will take on 11 other maidens and try to finally break through and be called a winner. He’s dropping in class from $32,000 to $25,000 and I’m hoping that this drop and the change in scenery from Santa Anita will make our boy the buzz saw this time rather than the wood.
Here is the field in the 6.5 furlong sprint:
1. Tea Party Time – second time out and is also dropping in from $32,000. Raced wide and green in debut so there is room for improvement.
2. Big Steven – Has not raced since early August of his two year old year in a non-descript 3.5 furlong dash. It’s going to take a lot of improvement to race with these.
3. Warren’s Peanut – Like Diplo, he’s 0 – 8, but he has never been close while our boy has hit the board 5 of 8 starts with 3 fourths.
4. Big Wags – Improved nicely on the drop last out and he dips a bit again. Should be a real tough one.
6. Unusual Justin – Back in under a week and hasn’t shown much for a while. Abrams must see something the rest of us don’t.
7. Burciaga – Stepping up in his 3-year old debut. Probably needs at least one.
8. Roos on the Loose – Like Diplo, one that’s in the money more times than not. Would like to stalk the pace, but there doesn’t seem to be any pace in here!
9. Tizexchange – A slight drop in his second lifetime start. Showed some early speed before fading in debut. Certainly needed the race and post race works have been decent.
10. Who U Foolin – Another with a slight drop after a speed then fade debut. Tizexchange looks like the better of the two, but vast improvement is necessary.
11. Eminent Honor – 0-22 with no a sniff of the tote board on his PPs.
12. Big Jay – Had a bit of a breather and comes back at this level again. Consistent Beyers that are better than most of the field, he just has not been able to hit the top of the board. Adds Tyler Baze and cutting back in distance. Looms largest.
With Rafael Bejerano taking some time to sightsee in Kentucky this weekend, Diplo gets a new pilot, Martin Pedroza who has been no slouch this year winning at a 16% clip. With no real pace in the race it’s going to be a cavalry charge at the end and Diplo will need to dig in and show some heart in order to prevail. He belongs with the best in here, I’m hoping the racing gods (and you too Russ) are smiling down on him Saturday!