December 3, 2023

Estilo Talentoso enters Princess Rooney on upswing; Diamond Oops favored in Smile Sprint

Diamond Oops wins the 2019 Smile Sprint (c) Adam Coglianese Photography

After placing in three consecutive graded stakes, Estilo Talentoso broke through with a rallying score in the June 4 Bed o’ Roses S. (G3) at Belmont Park. The four-year-old filly will try to carry her momentum forward in Saturday’s $350,000 Princess Rooney Invitational S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park.

One race earlier, multiple Grade 2 scorer Diamond Oops heads a field of eight in the $200,000 Smile Sprint Invitational S. (G3).

Princess Rooney (G2) – Race 11 (5:35 p.m. ET)

Estilo Talentoso needed seven starts to break her maiden, breaking through last June at Gulfstream. After jumping straight to stakes competition with runner-up in the Azalea S., she concluded her three-year-old season with her initial stakes tally in the Escena in late August.

By Maclean’s Music, the Juan Arriagada-trained filly has taken her game to a new level in 2021. Estilo Talentoso finished a close second in the Madison S. (G1) at Keeneland and third in the Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs before winning the Bed o’ Roses by a neck last out. Javier Castellano will be in to ride the 5-2 morning line favorite.

The seven-furlong Princess Rooney is a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6.

Eight fillies and mares are entered, and Grade 1 winner Ce Ce will invade from California for Michael McCarthy. A troubled fourth in the Santa Maria (G2) most recently, the five-year-old mare will make her third start off the layoff with Victor Espinoza.

Laura’s Light, a three-time graded winner on turf, will stick to the main track for Peter Miller after a 4 3/4-length triumph in the off-the-turf Ouija Board S. at Lone Star Park on May 31. She’s listed at 7-2 with Florent Geroux.

Pacific Gale, winner of the Inside Information (G2) and Hurricane Bertie (G3) at Gulfstream this winter, returns to the Sunshine State after a fourth in the Bed o’ Roses. Romero Maragh rides for John Kimmel. Sound Machine exits a dominant win in the restricted Musical Romance S., and Thisismytime will make her first start since a second in the Inside Information in late January. Expected longshots Hallawallah and Heiressall complete the cast.

Smile Sprint (G3) – Race 10 (5:02 p.m. ET)

Diamond Oops appears back on track for Patrick Biancone, returning to the win column in a salty handicap race at Gulfstream on June 5, and the classy six-year-old gelding has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

Hero of the 2019 Smile, Diamond Oops established himself as top contender for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) after winning the Phoenix (G2) at Keeneland last October. He didn’t fire in the championship event, and the bay son of Lookin at Lucky posted three consecutive unplaced finishes before rebounding in his last outing. Geroux will be up.

Double Crown and Chance It, 1-2 in a May 23 allowance, are both contenders. Winner of the Carry Back S. and runner-up in the Smile at Gulfstream last summer, Double Crown came back from a near eight-month layoff to prevail last time. Luca Panici has the call for Kathy Ritvo. Chance It captured the Mucho Macho Man S. three starts ago in January, 2020. After returning from a 14 1/2-month layoff, he’s eligible to show more in the second start back for Saffie Joseph and Edgard Zayas.

Miles Ahead and Ournationonparade, second and third to Diamond Oops last out, are also part of the mix. Frosted Grace, Shivaree, and Willy Boi round out the lineup.