News & Barn notes

Diamond Play Tries Stakes Company For First Time in Charles Hesse III

August 25, 2017

2013 SSC 2 300x225

            Diamond Play moves back to the main track as she enters stakes company for the first time and takes on the boys in Sunday’s $60,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap, going a mile and a sixteenth.

            Diamond Play is coming off just her second turf start of her career where she stalked the early pace and got in front in the final 100 yards to score by a half length to beat the boys in an allowance optional claiming event on July 29.

            The 4-year-old filly by E Dubai out of the Belong to Me mare Forbidden Isle has hit the board in each of her eight starts on the Monmouth Park main track including back-to-back wins to end the 2016 meet, both in front-running fashion.

            “I’m so happy with the way she’s coming into the race,” said trainer Anthony Margotta Jr. “She has beaten the boys before, but this is probably her toughest race yet. She’s a horse that definitely likes to be up on the pace, but doesn’t necessarily need the lead. She can sit right off the pace too.”

            Owned by Throughbreds Investment Fund LLC, Diamond Play has worked once to gear up for her first shot at a stakes title. That work come on Aug. 13 when she breezed four furlongs in :53 over the fast Monmouth main track.

            To grab her first stakes victory in the Charles Hesse III, Diamond Play will have to hold off two proven stakes winners. Chublicious, for leading trainer Jorge Navarro, comes off a win in the John. J Reilly Handicap on the Haskell undercard and stretches out to a route distance for the first time in two years and Jason Servis trainee Fuzzy Muzzle took home last year’s Dan Horn Handicap.

            The Charles Hesse III will run as race 11 on Sunday’s 12-race card as part of three stakes races in the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post at 12:50 p.m.