Dust and Diamonds lived up to her advance billing as a budding star Saturday with a record-smashing victory in the $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (Grade 3) at Gulfstream Park.
In her first race for trainer Todd Pletcher, the 4-year-old won the six-furlong dirt stakes in 1 minute 8.66 seconds. That broke the Sugar Swirl record of 1:08.98, set by Smokey Glacken in 2006.
“I don’t know what else she could have done, running six furlongs in 1:08,” said Pletcher, who was at Aqueduct in Ozone Park, N.Y, and watched a telecast of the Sugar Swirl
Dust and Diamonds, the 1-2 favorite, led almost the entire race and beat Golden Mystery by 2 3/4 lengths.
If jockey John Velazquez had pushed Dust and Diamonds at the end, she might have come close to the track record of 1:08.12 that Big Drama, an Eclipse Award-winning male sprinter, set in 2011.
“She broke really well, and it was pretty easy. Once she broke I just set my hands down and held her together,” Velazquez said. “I just sat til the three-eighths pole ... and the rest was easy.”
Pletcher did not discuss a possible schedule for Dust and Diamonds.
Gulfsteam’s next dirt stakes for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up is the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie Stakes (Grade 3) on Feb. 10 at 6 1/2 furlongs
The win in the Sugar Swirl was the sixth in 11 career starts for Dust and Diamonds, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Vindication.
She raced mostly in allowances until last summer when she won the Dashing Beauty Stakes at Delaware Park and the Gallant bloom handicap (Grade 2) at Belmont Park for trainer Steve Asmussen and owned Padua Stables.
On Nov. 3, she finiished second to the highly acclaimed Groupie Doll in the Breeders’ Cup filly and mare sprint at Santa Anita Park, Calif.
Two days later, Padua sold her for $900,000 at an auction in Lexington, Ky. New owners TNT Stud and Three Chimneys Farm transferred her to Pletcher..
On Saturday, Dust and Diamonds fended off early challenges ny Honey Chile and then Golden Mystery. She led Golden Mystery by a length after a half mile in 45 17 and then pulled away entering the stretch..
Nakano finished third followed by Sacristy, the 5-2 seoond choice in the six-horse field.
Dust and Diamonds’ stakes record time came on a day when several other dirt race winners ran times that were fast but not blazing,
Her win was the first for Pletcher in the Gulfstream meet that began on Dec. 1. He has sent out only four horses through six race days.
Pletcher has led Gulfstream trainers in wins for nine straight seasons.
Om Sunday, Gulfstream wlll have the $100,000 South Beach Stales ar 7 1/2 furlongs on turf for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.
Romaca is te 3-1 morning-line favorite in the race that has 13 entrants.
Hialeah Park will begin its quarter horse racing meet on Dec. 15.
It will have that racing through Feb. 17, mostly with a Friday through Sunday schedule. First time is 2 p.m. each day.
This will be Hialeah’s fourth quarter horse season. It has not had thoroughbred racing since 2001.
Hialeah will have simulcast wagering on thoroughbred races on Wednesdays through Sundays until April 5. Gulfstream, Aqueduct and Hollywood Park are among tracks on which it has wagering.
Hialeah is building a casino on the north side of its grandstand.
John Brunetti Sr., the track’s owner and chairman, said the casino will have between 850 and 1,000 slot machines with July 4, 2013, as the target date for opening.