California Diamond rallied to edge more fancied rivals on Santa Anita’s closing weekend, scoring by three-quarters of a length in the $125,000 Santa Anita Juvenile on July 9. Overlooked as the 6-1 fifth choice among six contestants, the California-bred Harbor the Gold colt is now 2-for-2 for trainer John Broklebank.
A $35,000 purchase at the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association Summer Yearling Sale last August, California Diamond won going away by 2 ¼ lengths when making his debut in a 5-furlong state-bred maiden special weight at Santa Anita on June 17.
With Edwin Maldonado up, California Diamond rallied to defeat pacesetter Green With Eddie in the 5 ½-furlong Santa Anita Juvenile. Green With Eddie, a Cal-bred Square Eddie colt trained by Doug O’Neill, was bet down as the 2-1 favorite following a convincing debut score at Santa Anita on June 3.
Silver Assault, a smart debut winner for Jerry Hollendorfer, wound up third and the O-Neill-trained Secret House was fourth.
I took a closer look at Green With Eddie, Silver Assault and Secret House in a July 1 post at kentuckyderby.com.
California Diamond registered an 89 BRIS Speed rating in the Santa Anita Juvenile and is the first stakes winner out of the stakes-placed Slewdledo mare Carrie’s a Jewel.
I will also highlight a couple of recent Santa Anita maiden winners, Klimt and Sizzlin Square.
Klimt, who finished fourth as the favorite to Silver Assault in his career bow, broke his maiden in eye-catching fashion the second-time out, rolling to a 5 ¼-length decision at 5 ½-furlong on July 10. He’s an intriguing early prospect for four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert.
The Quality Road colt received a 92 BRIS Speed rating. Klimt cost $435,000 at the OBS March 2-year-old in training sale earlier this year and is out of a stakes-placed dam by Dixie Union. Dixie Union has sired a Belmont Stakes winner (Union Rags) and Klimt has plenty of stamina influences on his female side, with his second dam being by Storm Cat and the third dam by Broad Brush.
Sizzlin Square was overlooked at 9-1 but graduated at first asking for O’Neill, who captured his second Kentucky Derby this year with Nyquist. The Square Eddie colt defeated Cal-bred rivals in a 5-furlong maiden special weight test on July 2, leading wire to wire en route to a near one-length decision. Out of a mare by the Nureyev stallion Momentum, Sizzlin Square is bred for turf on both sides of his pedigree but figures to remain on the main track for his next appearance against stakes rivals.
Del Mar begins Friday (July 15) and we’ll keep tabs on notable 2-year-old performers during the seven-week summer session.