09/02/2013 9:57AM

Del Mar: Diamond Bachelor is horse to beat in Oak Tree Juvenile Turf


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DEL MAR, Calif. – Diamond Bachelor has had a lofty reputation since he walked out of the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training this year after selling for $570,000. He did little to dampen the expectations when he beat maidens in his debut over a mile on turf at Del Mar on Aug. 8.

In his second start, Diamond Bachelor will make his stakes debut in Wednesday’s $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Turf over a mile, a race that could move him closer to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in November.

“We’ll see how good he is,” trainer Patrick Biancone said. “I think they will all need to improve from race to race.”

Owned by Diamond 100 Racing Club, Diamond Bachelor drew the outside post in a field of eight in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf. His main rivals are the Irish import Home School and the maiden race winner Station House.

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Diamond Bachelor will be ridden by Julien Leparoux, who was aboard for the maiden-race win. Diamond Bachelor stalked the pace for the first half-mile in that race and drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths as a solid favorite.

Biancone said he opted to keep Diamond Bachelor in one-mile turf races for the start of his career but said the colt has ample speed.

“He works fast, and I think he could sprint,” Biancone said. “We have this race, and I don’t want to go too quick with him.”

[DEL MAR FUTURITY: Get PPs, watch Wednesday's card live]

Station House led throughout a one-mile turf race when he won his debut by 1 1/2 lengths July 24.

“I was very impressed,” trainer Richard Mandella said.

Gary Stevens was aboard for the maiden-race win and has the mount Wednesday. Station House is unlikely to set the pace against speedy runners such as Easy Solution, third in a starter allowance over 5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 15, and Ontology, who was second in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Betfair Hollywood Park in July.

Mandella said Station House is the sort of colt who is best when allowed to race near the front.

“He’s quick,” Mandella said. “I would guess he won’t be far off of it. I’d like to see him relax, but right now, we’ll do what works.”

Home School drew the rail in his first start for trainer Doug O’Neill.

A colt by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Intense Focus, Home School was second to Exogenesis in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown in Ireland on July 25. Exogenesis subsequently was third in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at The Curragh on Aug. 25.