OUR DIAMOND GIRL SPARKLES IN FANCY BUCKLES
“It’s an honor to have a stakes named for one of the horses that you trained,” Tim Grams said a few days prior to Saturday’s $75,000 Fancy Buckles Stakes at Charles Town Races. “It would be even more special if I had the winner.”
Done, and done.
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Under jockey Fredy Peltroche, the Grams-trained Our Diamond Girl surged clear in the late stages to win the Fancy Buckles, for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares, by 1 ½ lengths to earn her first career stakes victory. It was also her fourth win in five starts this season.
Our Diamond Girl broke well from the outside stall to be part of an early three-horse vanguard in the 4 ½-furlong contest. That group also included Good Karma, who had the early advantage, and even-money favorite Gandhi’s Castle. That trio led the field, with College Kid swooping up while wide, through an opening quarter-mile in 22.02 seconds.
Gandhi’s Castle began to falter rounding the turn, steadied leaving the five-sixteenths, and threw in the towel thereafter, fading to finish last of the 10.
Our Diamond Girl, meanwhile, dueled on even terms rounding the turn before putting a head in front turning for home. Initially slow to switch leads, she gradually wore down Good Karma while holding safe the late efforts of College Kid, who grabbed second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of Good Karma, who held third. Running time over a muddy, sealed racing strip was 52.97 seconds.
Our Diamond Girl returned $12.60 to win, and the exacta, with 11-1 College Kid in second, paid $67.90 on a one-dollar wager.
Grams and his wife Judy bred Our Diamond Girl, a West Virginia-bred daughter of Windsor Castle, and, as Grams Racing Stable LLC, they also own her. Our Diamond Girl now has six wins from 10 career starts and earnings of $127,105.
She still has a ways to go to catch the race’s namesake, Fancy Buckles. That Grams trainee won nine of 17 in her career, scored in four stakes, and earned $278,188.
“You know, Fancy Buckles changed my life,” Grams said. “She came along at a time when I was struggling, and she just turned my whole career around. I had some good horses before her, but nothing like her.”