By Steve Andersen DRF.com
DEL MAR, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2013) Expectations are starting to soar regarding Diamond Bachelor, who won his stakes debut in Wednesday's $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Turf at Del Mar.
After Diamond Bachelor led throughout the one-mile race for 2-year-olds, trainer Patrick Biancone ranked the colt as a personal favorite, and made a bold prediction for 2014.
"This horse can win the Derby," Biancone said. "This is one of the best horses I've trained at this age."
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Diamond Bachelor ($4.60) set a crisp pace of 21.97 and 46 seconds for the first half-mile. He led by 1 1/2 lengths after a half-mile, by 4 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and won by 2 1/2 lengths.
Diamond Bachelor ($4.60) was timed in 1:34.36.
Diamond Bachelor won his debut in a one-mile turf race by 3 1/4 lengths on Aug. 8, racing near the front throughout. The same strategy was the goal for the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf.
"We let him run a little bit," Biancone said. "He's very fast from the gate anyway."
Ontology, second in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Betfair Hollywood Park in July, finished second, 2 3/4 lengths in front of the Irish import Home School, who was second in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown, Ireland, in July.
Yes Yes Yes finished fourth followed by Smokin' Ten, Easy Solution, Golden Dynamo, and Station House. Station House, the 2-1 second choice, was rank under jockey Gary Stevens for the opening quarter-mile and was never a factor.
Biancone purchased Diamond Bachelor for $570,000 at the Barretts March Sale of 2-year-olds in-training earlier this year on behalf of Ken Hui, who races as Diamond 100 Racing Club.
"This is a good horse," Hui said in the winner's circle. "I think he has a bright future."
Diamond Bachelor, by War Front, has earned $105,000 in his two starts. Biancone said the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 6 will be Diamond Bachelor's next start, serving as a prep for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 1.
Biancone said that Diamond Bachelor will stay on grass through 2013.
"I think we'll keep him on the turf this year," he said. "He's taken each step properly."