Trainer Chris Paasch had a special feeling about Diplomat Lady the first day he laid eyes on her. And that feeling has only grown stronger.
"I just get a feeling in my gut when I find a horse I like," Paasch said while watching his filly gallop around the Churchill Downs oval. "I just knew when I saw her that I had to have her. She just stood out. She's a big filly with a lot of scope and I liked her pedigree page."
Paasch purchased the daughter of Forestry
for $400,000 at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-year-olds in training sale from the consignment of Hoby and Layna Kight.
"I didn't want to be around him if he didn't get this filly," said Chris' wife and assistant, Bonnie Paasch. "He told me 'I don't care if I don't get another horse at this sale. I want her.' I knew it would be a long three days if he didn't get her."
Paasch purchased Diplomat Lady for San Diego resident Charles Cono. The two men have about 32 horses in training together and four broodmares boarded at Paasch's Kentucky farm.
"I remember he called and said 'Boss, I've found a good one but she's going to be expensive.' Our deal is Chris picks the horses and I pay," said Cono, who is involved in real estate management. "He just has an incredible eye for a horse and I knew if he loved her she had to be good."
The purchase paid off. Diplomat Lady has won four of eight career starts and earned $512,800. She is now pointed toward a start in Friday's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Jockey Alex Solis has the mount in Oaks, with the pair breaking from post two. Diplomat Lady is listed at 10-1 on the morning line.
Diplomat Lady began the year with a fifth-place effort in the Las Virgenes (gr. I) and finished fourth in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I). Most recently, she scored a front-running 2 1/4-length win in the Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II).
Bred in Kentucky by Mike Rutherford, Diplomat Lady was produced from the multiple stakes-winning Saratoga Six
The dark bay/brown filly was originally purchased for $120,000 by John Kimmel, agent for Drew Raymond at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale from the consignment of Eaton Sales, agent.