Preakness profiles: Diamond King
Photo by Dottie Miller.
by Gary Quill and Frank Vespe
In our Preakness profiles, we look into each of Saturday’s Preakness contenders.
WHO IS DIAMOND KING?
Diamond King, a Quality Road colt, has enjoyed his prior visits to Maryland, winning the Heft Stakes to close out his two-year-old year and then winning the Federico Tesio Stakes at Laurel in April. In between was a third place finish in the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream Park. The Tesio victory earned Diamond King a berth in the Preakness, where he brings owner Cash Is King LLC, who owned dual-Classic winner Afleet Alex, and trainer John Servis, who did not condition that runner but did train another dual-Classic winner, Smarty Jones.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT DIAMOND KING
“I was going to gallop him but with the track the way it was, I just jogged him. He’s doing good,” Servis said Thursday morning. “He looked good. He was reaching, he was bucking and playing. He was happy.”
As for whether the track will play a major role in the outcome of the Middle Jewel, Servis was dubious.
“I’m happy with the post. I didn’t want to be in the one-hole,” Servis said. “He worked over a wet track the other day and worked good. He seemed to handle it fine. We’ll just play with what’s dealt. I think he needs to worry more about Justify than he does the track.”
WHY HE COULD WIN
Earned an automatic bid into the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown by winning the 1 1/8 mile Federico Tesio at Laurel in his most recent start. Trainer John Servis, who saddled KY Derby winner Smarty Jones for a victory in the 2004 Preakness, is known as a horseman who only enters races in which he strongly feels his runners have a shot. He entered Diamond King in last Saturday’s G3 Peter Pan at Belmont but scratched him, opting to run in the Preakness saying, “This horse is legit.” His pilot is not only one of the best riders in the country, he has won the Preakness twice (Bernardini in ’06 and Cloud Computing in ’17).
WHY HE COULD LOSE
Only race against Triple Crown caliber foes came to a disastrous end early in the G2 KY Jockey Cup last November when he clipped heels and fell on the first turn. The 126 lb. he’ll carry will be 5 lb. more than he has ever carried in his career. Bad karma, as Frankie Pennington, winner of over 2,200 races has been Diamond King’s regular rider in all six starts (6:4-0-1) as well as working the horse in the morning s been gets replaced.
Diamond King File
- Trainer John Servis
- Owner Cash is King LLC, D. J. Stable LLC and LC Racing LLC
- Jockey Javier Castellano
- Bred in Kentucky by JSM Equine LLC
- Breeding Quality Road-Akron Moon, by Malibu Moon
- Record 6-4-0-1, earnings of $222,600
- Career highlights Won Federico Tesio S., 3rd G3 Swale
- Morning line odds 30-1