LAUREL, MD. 03-14-09---Kildare Stable’s Fancy Diamond stole off to an easy lead and dug in gamely at the finish to win the $50,000 Conniver Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares, today’s feature at Laurel Park.

Harry Vega guided the 5-year-old mare to a surprising victory over six other distaffers in the seven furlong test. She won by neck over a hard closing and determined All Giving, the defending champion. Post time favorite Puskita chased the leader but gave way and finished third.

Fancy Diamond completed the distance in 1:23.72 and paid $22.60. The 8-5 exacta returned $84 and the 8-5-6 triple paid $182. Cathal Lynch trains the daughter of Eastern Echo at Philadelphia Park.

“They did a wonderful job with this horse,” Vega said. “She’s got a lot of speed. She just broke so good and went on with the race. My instructions were to take the lead and don’t give it up at any cost. She really dug in down the stretch.”

Fancy Diamond is now six-of-12 lifetime for earnings of nearly $220,000.


Little known apprentice Josean Ramirez became more than a blip on the radar screen when he rode the winners in four of the first five races this afternoon at Laurel Park.

Ramirez, a 21-year-old from Puerto Rico, started his day quickly as Miss Maisy beat $5,000 claimers and paid $3. He finished off the board with his mount in the second race but roared right back to win races three, four and five aboard Onearmedbusch ($7.80), Sleek Hunter ($3.20) and Clydetheglyde ($13.20) respectively. He failed to reach the winners’ circle in the sixth or seventh.

“When the entries came out it looked like it could be a good day but you never know,” said Ramirez, who won on his first career mount at Laurel in August but missed the final two and a half months of 2008 with injuries suffered in a spill at Charles Town. “It feels good to have a big day. Hopefully this is a good beginning for more days like this.”

The career-best day helped Ramirez move into a seventh place tie in the jockey standings with 21 first place finishes.