07/15/2008 11:00PM

Diamond Isle returns where he wins


ELMONT, N.Y. - Most horsemen and handicappers are eager for the conclusion of the Belmont meet and the start of Saratoga. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. is not one of them. At least as far as his 6-year-old gelding Diamond Isle is concerned.

Dutrow will bring Diamond Isle back to the races from a nine-month layoff in Friday's $60,000 allowance feature at Belmont Park, contested at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. Diamond Isle has won his last three starts at Belmont, including two allowance victories here last fall. Overall, Diamond Isle has 3 wins and 2 seconds from 6 career starts at Belmont. He is 1 for 14 elsewhere.

"He's a one-turn horse," Dutrow said. "He's doing good, he's ready to run. I want to get him in a race likes this because at Saratoga they only go up to seven-eighths around one turn."

Diamond Isle is one of four horses in this field entered for the optional claiming price of $75,000.

"Seventy-five is a lot of money coming off the bench," Dutrow said. "If they want him, that's fine. He's been good to us. He'll run good, I'm sure."

Diamond Isle, with Cornelio Velasquez in the irons, figures to lay close to the pace, which is likely to be set by Wafi City, under Mike Luzzi. Wafi City was beaten 15 3/4 lengths by the Dutrow-trained Rising Moon in a third-level allowance race here on May 30. Rising Moon came back to run third in the Suburban.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin was planning to run Wafi City in a turf allowance race on Friday, but that race did not fill.

Shone, trained by Nick Zito, won back-to-back allowance sprints at Churchill Downs in the spring. He is winless in four tries at the distance and is 0 for 2 at Belmont. Zito has tabbed Alan Garcia to ride. Garcia and Zito teamed up to win the Belmont Stakes earlier this meet with Da' Tara.

Deputy Indy has finished in the top three in 20 of 30 career starts, but has landed in the top spot only three times, most recently in a second-level allowance race at Gulfstream in January. He finished second behind Rising Moon in the May 30 allowance.

Rathor has had success at Belmont, winning back-to-back allowance races at 1 1/16 miles in the summer of 2006. Since then, the majority of his races have come on synthetic surfaces or turf. Trainer Bobby Frankel is removing the blinkers from Rathor's equipment.

First post for the final Friday twilight racing card of the meet is 3 p.m.