Gosh folks, I don’t know what to say.
I was really excited to watch Diamonds Dena run tonight for the Emerald Racing Club. She was 2-1 on the morning line and had just beaten most of the horses she was facing Friday.
So there was good reason for optimism.
But nope. Not tonight. No way, no how.
Diamonds Dena broke lousy from the gate, dropped far back, and failed to muster a rally when jockey Erick Lopez asked her for run. We finished a well-beaten sixth as Ronda Rocks–whom Diamonds Dena beat July 8–held off Winninginfashion for the victory.
Mind you, I don’t mind losing, it’s part of the game. And I’ve been around horse racing a long time–38 years to be exact–and learned long ago to never assume anything in this sport. Thoroughbreds are animals-not machines-and they have their ups and downs just like humans.
Nevertheless, I’m baffled. Dena was 3-for-3 here this year and she wasn’t moving up in class for tonight’s race; $15,000 fillies and mares is her level. But things were amiss from the moment the gate opened. Normally, ‘Dena has tactical speed and drops about four lengths behind the leaders before picking up the pace on the last turn. Tonight, she could barely keep up with Cup of Soup, a deep closer, and it was obvious pretty early that tonight wasn’t her night.
Back to the drawing board. . .
It’s possible that Diamonds Dena might have sustained some sort of mishap leaving the starting gate. Incidentally, it was an abnormally long load as Winninginfashion was a handful while loading and ‘Dena was forced to wait a long time for the break. So something might have been amiss, as no question ‘Dena dropped farther back than normal for her.
I’ll check with Larry and Sharon, and perhaps Erick Lopez passed something along to them as well. ‘Dena did not get claimed, so assuming everything checks out OK we’ll get another crack at the group she faced Friday. I’ll also find out a possible next race for Archie Graham, too.
Happy Longacres Mile Weekend!