02/07/2009 1:00AM

Diamond Tycoon kicks home in Fair Grounds Cap


NEW ORLEANS - Diamond Tycoon ran his record to a perfect 3 for 3 over the Fair Grounds turf as he used a powerful closing kick to win the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap, one of six stakes on the Saturday card.

Five lengths back after incredibly slow fractions, Julien Leparoux took Diamond Tycoon very wide into the lane and asked for his fastest gear. Diamond Tycoon responded, going the last furlong in 11.57 seconds and prevailing by 1 1/2 lengths.

With Jimmy Simms setting slow fractions of 25.22 for the quarter-mile and 52.01 for the half, Leparoux restrained Diamond Tycoon, keeping him seventh in the eight-horse field.

"We have to keep him with his style, and his style is to run from behind," said Leparoux. "We kept him behind, but he has a really nice kick at the end."

As Diamond Tycoon ran down the field, Windward Islands, half of the coupled entry from trainer Mark Frostad, used a closing kick of his own to rally from sixth to second, but never threatened the winner.

Diamond Tycoon ($9) covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.12 and earned $75,000 for his owner, Charlotte Musgrave.

Diamond Tycoon, a British import, has been unstoppable at Fair Grounds. His trainer, Andrew McKeever, indicated that some of the success comes from his preference for the routine of American racing, where he can run at the same track at which he trains.

"He likes the routine in America, and he loves the course here," said McKeever.

McKeever said he would point Diamond Tycoon toward the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Handicap.

Colonel Power: Early speed key for Chamberlain Bridge

Trainer Bret Calhoun credited jockey Jamie Theriot with a perfect ride on Chamberlain Bridge in the Dec. 20 Bonapaw Stakes. Only thing is, Chamberlain Bridge was run over late in the race by Storm Treasure.

"We slowed the pace down so much that we let the other horse stay close," said Calhoun.

So Saturday, Theriot let Chamberlain Bridge take full advantage of his early speed in the $75,000 Colonel Power Stakes, rolling through a quick early pace - and that worked much better. This time Storm Treasure never even got close, with Chamberlain Bridge posting a sharp three-length victory over longshot Grand Traverse.

Owned by Carl Moore Management, Chamberlain Bridge now has won four races - three of them stakes - since being claimed for $35,000 last March at Fair Grounds. His win in the Colonel Power, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint, certainly was among the most impressive. Chamberlain Bridge raced through fractions of 22.40 seconds for his first quarter-mile and 45.67 for the half while being hounded by Rouse the Cat. Rouse the Cat came through along the fence and actually seized the lead at the quarter pole, but Chamberlain Bridge quickly countered, and pulled away late for a comfortable win.

Storm Treasure and Rouse the Cat dead-heated for third. The winner was timed in 1:03.33 over firm turf, and paid $5 as the favorite.

Pan Zareta: Precious Kiss rallies

Heavy favorite Secret Gypsy scratched from the $72,750 Pan Zareta Stakes, and neither of the two well-bet Steve Asmussen-trained horses could get the job done, either. That left the door open for Precious Kiss, who rallied from last in a four-horse field under John Jacinto to win the Pan Zareta by 1 1/4 lengths.

Favored Classified was second, with pacesetting P.S.U. Grad third, and Shilla fourth. The winner was timed in 1:11.14 for six furlongs on dirt, and paid $6.60 to win. Control System also was an early scratch.

Precious Kiss, a $25,000 claim about one year ago, finished third, beaten five lengths, behind Secret Gypsy in the Esplanade Stakes here in her most recent start, but always seems to run her race at Fair Grounds. After Saturday's victory, she has three wins from seven local starts, and never has been worse than third at this track.

"I told John not to change a thing with the four-horse field," said Pat Mouton, who trains Precious Kiss for Stanley Seelig. "Take her back and relax, because she loves this home stretch."

- additional reporting by Marcus Hersh