09/20/2001 11:00PM

'Diablo' sharp for first stakes

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MIAMI - Diablo Reigns, who has quietly blossomed into one of the top 3-year-old turf horses at Calder Race Course, will face older runners in his stakes debut in Sunday's $35,000 Baldski Handicap, an overnight at 1 1/8 miles on the grass.

Diablo Reigns, the only 3-year-old among the 10 entered for the Baldski, has won his last two starts, both on the turf, and is 3 for 5 over the local course. Trained by James Hatchett, Diablo Reigns was 23-1 when he scored a one-length victory over the stretch-running Creek's Shore coming off a brief freshening on Aug. 21. He returned against better 16 days later, and contested a very fast pace, but still had enough left to outfinish Marco's Word by three-quarters of a length.

Diablo Reigns may have to alter his pace-pressing tactics to win the Baldski - with speedsters Atiba and Puchungo also in the starting lineup.

Brassy Fred, who at age 7 continues to hold his form remarkably well, can avenge his recent loss to Diablo Reigns, a race in which he finished third after a slow start earlier this month. The veteran Brassy Fred is the most consistent and the winningest member of the field - with 10 career victories, six of them on the Calder turf course. His late-running style should serve him well.

Children's charity rooting for Carey's Gold

Adam Thompson, the owner of Florida Stallion Series star Carey's Gold, has pledged to donate $10,000 to the Stop Children's Cancer Inc. in Gainesville, Fla. if his colt can sweep the series with a victory in the $400,000 In Reality Stakes on Oct. 13.

Thompson, a trial lawyer from Jersey City, N.J., purchased Carey's Gold privately shortly after the colt won a $40,000 maiden claiming race on July 16. Carey's Gold has since gone on to win divisions of both the Dr. Fager and Affirmed stakes. Carey's Gold will earn a $50,000 bonus if he wins the In Reality and sweeps the open division of the Florida Stallion Series.

"My philosophy is that if you get, you should give back," Thompson said. "Sometimes we get tunnel vision and don't realize how good we have things until we see those who don't."