02/19/2011 7:02PM

Prince Will I Am goes dirt to turf to take Mac Diarmida


Prince Will I Am gave further proof of his versatility when he switched from dirt to turf to win his second consecutive graded stakes in Saturday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Mac Diarmida a Gulfstream Park.

Ridden for the first time by John Velazquez, the 4-year-old Prince Will I Am ($8), co-favored with Al Khali, charged down the middle of the track to take command with a sixteenth of a mile remaining in the 1 3/8-mile turf race and finished about a length clear of Rahy’s Attorney. Musketier finished third.

In providing Velazquez with his third victory on the card, Prince Will I Am completed the distance in 2:13.04. 

It was Prince Will I Am’s first start since he took the off-the-turf Grade 2 W.L. McKnight at Calder in mid-December. Last fall, he won the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap on turf and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon on dirt, but was disqualified and placed 10th.