Feb 212020

High-percentage U.S. trainer to ship 40 horses to ASD
“I’m pretty excited. I always liked coming up there, ” says Robertino Diodoro

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Trainer Robertino Diodoro and jockey Ty Kennedy

Here’s exciting news for the live race season. A top trainer in the U.S., Robertino Diodoro–whose horses are currently winning at a high rate at four U.S. tracks–says he will ship 40 horses to race at Assiniboia Downs during the 50-day meet that begins on Mother’s Day, May 10.

“I’m pretty excited,” he told The Insider in a telephone interview. “It’s something different. I always liked coming up there. We should have a good chunk of horses there in the third week of April.” Assistant trainer Kent Knudsen and jockey Ty Kennedy who are now racing at Delta Downs in Louisiana will accompany his horses, he said. (Kennedy has ridden four winners in his last 10 mounts at Delta.)

SHIPPING INCENTIVE: Diodoro’s horse owners will be able to share in a generous ASD “shipping incentive program,” too. Horses shipping in from five states closest to Manitoba will earn a bonus of $250 after each horse completes one start at ASD. And horses shipping in from 11 states further away will net their owners $600.

THREE MANITOBA DERBY WINS: Of course, Diodoro has won the Manitoba Derby three times: Inside Straight in 2016, Sky Promise in 2018 and Oil Money last year. He currently has horses at Turf Paradise (28 per cent wins), Oaklawn Park (28 per cent wins), Delta Downs (23 per cent wins) and Sam Houston (31 per cent wins). While at the Downs, he said he will also have horses racing at Canterbury Park in Minnesota so there will be an exchange of horses between the Downs and Canterbury. And he’ll also be racing at Churchill Downs and Lone Star Park in Texas.

NATIVE CALGARIAN: Diodoro, 45, is a native Calgarian who gave up on hockey to train horses–which is what he has been doing for 25 years. He has won 2,365 races from 11,567 starts and his horses have earned more than $40.5 million. He had 310 wins last year, the sixth highest of North American trainers.

His favourite horse? Broadway Empire, winner of the $200K Canadian Derby and $400K Oklahoma Derby in 2013. “He took things to the next level for the whole stable.”

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