“He had a good half mile and galloped out really well,” trainer Arnaud Delacour said. “The gallop out was better than the work itself. He took to the track well.”
Diving Rod was successful in his unveiling at Laurel in November and was third in an optional claimer at Tampa in December. He completed the exacta in the GIII Sam F. Davis S. there Jan. 31 before a third-place effort behind Carpe Diem (Giant's Causeway) and Ami's Flatter (Flatter) in the GII Tampa Bay Derby Mar. 7.
“He's always showed ability, and I was hoping he'd take a step forward in the Tampa Derby,” Delacour continued. “The race didn't set up like we thought it would, he didn't break very well and he had the inside post, so we had to yield him early and he was pressured so he failed a little bit at the end. I think he learned a lot during that race and I think he came back in good shape. He's doing well at the moment, and I'm excited to run him Saturday.”