07/31/2008 12:00AM

String of Diamonds faces test


String of Diamonds found little success at Prairie Meadows in Iowa but has been dominant in his two starts in Nebraska and should rule a solid favorite in the Hall of Fame Stakes at Columbus for 3-year-olds going six furlongs.

String of Diamonds won his maiden at Lincoln on July 6 by a widening 8 1/2 lengths under a hand ride. He returned July 20 at Horsemen's Park and took the lead after a quarter-mile of the one-mile Skunktail Stakes, drawing off for a 3 1/2-length win. Trainer David Anderson has named Yuri Yaranga to ride.

A pair of worthy opponents stand in the way of String of Diamonds making it three in a row - City Slicker, winner of the State Fair Derby, and Moon Odyssey, claimed off his last win at Prairie Meadows on July 9.

City Slicker rallied from just off the pace to win the one-mile State Fair Derby and was most recently second after attending the pace of the 1 1/16-mile Colorado Derby at Arapahoe Park on July 20. He has the versatility to come from just off the pace going six furlongs, which could work to his advantage here. Armando Martinez rides for trainer Kelly Clark.

Moon Odyssey was claimed twice at Prairie Meadows, with Milton Gaede getting him on July 5 for a $5,000 tag off consecutive wins there going a mile. Moon Odyssey also should be looking to come from just off the lead.