11/05/2016 1:32PM

California Diamond shines in Golden State Juvenile

Susie Raisher
California Diamond and jockey Kent Desormeaux win the Golden State Juvenile by three-quarters of a length Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – California Diamond has already established himself as the top California-bred juvenile sprinter. His connections would like to see if he could go even farther.

On Saturday, he took his first step toward doing that by taking the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile by three-quarters of a length over Hot Smoke at Santa Anita. It was 2 1/2 lengths farther back to Milton Freewater in third.

The win was the fifth from seven starts for California Diamond, a son of Harbor the Gold trained by Peter Miller for Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, which purchased the colt after his second win in July.

In winning the Golden State Juvenile under Kent Desormeaux, California Diamond showed he could sit a little bit early and finish. The Golden State Juvenile was his first attempt at seven furlongs.

“I think he can stretch,” said Miller, who recorded his meet-leading 17th victory. “Kent’s always thought he could. We’ve been working on getting him to relax and getting him to finish and not pull himself up. He’s got at tendency to want to pull himself up. The work we’ve been doing is paying dividends. He was very professional today.”

California Diamond broke sharply and sparred on the lead with Sizzlin Square through a quarter in 22.77 seconds and a half-mile in 46.21. Desormeaux was in no hurry to get to the front and continued to sit even as Hot Smoke snuck through on the rail. It wasn’t until the sixteenth pole that Desormeaux asked California Diamond to run and he edged clear.

California Diamond covered seven furlongs in 1:23.72 and returned $2.80 to win.

“He actually did very, very well to stay where he was because he’s a :21, :44 horse,” Desormeaux said. “He’s calming down. Pete’s training him to go longer, and he’s doing a great job.”

Miller said he would look to keep California Diamond with California-breds for the foreseeable future.