09/05/2013 3:37PM

Del Mar: Diamond Bachelor continuing on Breeders' Cup path

Benoit & Associates
Diamond Bachelor, winning the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf, goes next in the Zuma Beach at Santa Anita, which is a prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Diamond Bachelor made an eye-catching presence when he arrived in the Del Mar paddock for the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf on Wednesday, and minutes later he looked just as good winning the race so easily that he rocketed to the top of the charts of contenders for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Patrick Biancone, who trains Diamond Bachelor, said the colt had come out of the race in good order and would use the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes at one mile on turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 6 as a final prep toward the Breeders’ Cup four weeks later.

“He’s an unbelievable horse, very handsome,” Biancone said Thursday morning. “He ate all his food. He’s very sound and happy.”

Diamond Bachelor won the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf by 2 1/2 lengths after setting quick fractions and opening a 4 1/2-length lead at midstretch. He has now won both his starts, both on turf at Del Mar.

Biancone said that while he would keep Diamond Bachelor on the turf for now, he will eventually try him on dirt and give him a chance to prove himself a Kentucky Derby contender. He cited Diamond Bachelor’s outstanding breeze-up at Barretts prior to his sale there for $570,000 as a reason to believe Diamond Bachelor, a son of War Front, is not limited to turf racing.

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“I want to keep him on turf now because I don’t want to push too hard too early,” Biancone said. “I know he’ll run well on dirt.”

After the race Wednesday, Biancone said: “This horse can win the Derby. This is one of the best horses I’ve trained at this age.”

Biancone purchased Diamond Bachelor 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.”