JIM ROME’S DIAMOND GEEZAH ADDS BLINKERS, WINS ‘DOWN THE HILL PURSE’ IN PHOTO FINISH

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 24, 2011)—With sports radio superstar and co-owner Jim Rome agonizing, Diamond Geezah prevailed by a scant nose in winning Santa Anita’s $63,000 Down the Hill Purse at 6 ½ furlongs on turf Thursday.

Ridden by Joe Talamo and trained by Mike Mitchell, Diamond Geezah, a 3-year-old Irish-bred colt, added blinkers in his second stateside start, stalked the early pace, slipped through an opening at the rail turning for home and repelled the late challenge of Irish-bred Easy Ticket inside the sixteenth pole.

“It feels great,” said Rome, whose Jungle Racing owns the winner in partnership with Dr. Dan Capen. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the winner’s circle and now that I’m here it feels good.”

When asked how he felt when Diamond Geezah was declared the winner via photo finish, Rome responded, “That was one of the greatest things that’s happened to me in this business. I’m very glad we got that bob.”

Diamond Geezah, forwardly placed early, was making his 10th career start in the open allowance for 3-year-olds.

“I try to be optimistic in photos, but I really couldn’t tell who won,” said Talamo. “The blinkers made a big difference today. When we crossed the dirt he just took off.”

The fourth choice in the wagering at odds of 4-1, Diamond Geezah paid $10.60, $5.80 and $3.20. Easy Ticket, making his U.S. debut for trainer Jim Cassidy lugged in through the lane while ridden by Victor Espinoza, paid $5.00 and $3.20. Metropolitan Man, ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, paid $3.00 to show.

Longshot Tale of Lucknfame carved out early fractions of 21.77, 45.09, 1:08.09 and finished last in the field of eight. The final time was 1:14.05.

The winner’s share of $37,800 doubled Diamond Geezahs’s career earnings, which now stand at $72,074.

Talamo and Mitchell doubled on the afternoon, as they combined to win Thursday’s first race which was also run at 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course.

Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday, with first post at 1 p.m.

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