(Diamond Solitaire rallies to win the Checkered Flag Handicap at Horseshoe Indianapolis on Wednesday / Coady Media)

From the Horseshoe Indianapolis Media Team / Tammy Knox:

Diamond Solitaire sparkles in Checkered Flag at Horseshoe Indianapolis


SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (Wednesday, June 26, 2024) – Diamond Solitaire knows how to bring a crowd to its feet. The six-year-old Indiana sired mare weaved through traffic to score her second straight premier racing win Wednesday, June 26 in the fourth running of the $100,000 Checkered Flag at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Starting from the middle of the 10-horse lineup, Diamond Solitaire didn’t show a lot of quickness out of the gate as race favorite Carimba and Marcelino Pedroza Jr. held their ground along the inside, joined by Eye Shadow and Yarmarie Correa on the outside. Jockey Alex Achard chose to keep Diamond Solitaire off the early pace setters in the six furlong sprint over the sloppy track due to rain just before the race.

Heading into the only turn of the race, E’s Magic and Fernando De La Cruz made a sweeping move around opponents and grabbed the early lead. Ekati Flatter and Evin Roman dipped to the inside and found a spot to advance along the rail. Diamond Solitaire was still more than four lengths back and had also moved to the inside hoping for racing room in the stretch.

E’s Magic led the field with authority into the stretch. Ekati Flatter hesitated along the inside but was advancing. However, it was Diamond Solitaire, who moved out from the inside and was widest of all, making up the most ground. Achard had the mare pointed toward the finish line and she exploded, rallying home to get the win over E’s Magic in the last two strides, a winner by three-quarters of a length. Ekati Flatter moved up inside for third.

Diamond Solitaire paid $22.80 for the win. The daughter of Majestic Harbor won her first premier race in her last outing in the Shelby County Handicap and is now on a two-race win streak for the Diamond Solitaire Partnership, led by breeders David and Loren Osborne and Gene McLean. Ethan West trains the mare, who now has seven career wins and more than $425,000 in career earnings.

“Alex (Achard) did an amazing job riding her today,” said one of the owners in Diamond Solitaire’s partnership group Dr. John Pritchett. “He was on the rail, had to check, and then made his way to the outside with her. It was a great move.”

Diamond Solitaire has built up a fan base in Indiana in addition to her large group of owners in the partnership. Gene McLean, who owns and operates “The Pressbox” podcast for racing, has been with her since day one and noted her emergence into life was a little rocky.

“She (Diamond Solitaire) is such an amazing mare,” said McLean. “We have known that since she was three or four days old. Her mom got colic and in transport to the vet, she kicked the foal and broke her leg, so at three or four days old, she had a broken leg. Lorie (Loren Hebel Osborne) fed her out of a bottle until we could get a nurse mare and the nurse mare adopted her immediately. This is what horse racing can do for you. You never know what can happen.”

The 22nd season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Thursday, Nov. 14. Racing is held Monday through Thursday at 2:10 p.m. All Quarter Horse dates are set for 10:45 a.m. Saturdays June 29, July 20, Aug. 10, Aug. 31, and Oct. 5. Indiana’s featured event, the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby is Saturday, July 6 with a first post time of 12 p.m. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis/racing or find the track on Social Media @HSIndyRacing.