Sparked by Dizney-breds, First Dude Is Off for His Next 1,000

    It took a little while for First Dude to get that elusive 1,000th winning ride last week, but only about 2 1/2 hours – at the same track – to start him on his second 1,000, compliments of Double Diamond’s owner, Don Dizney.

    The first race at Thistledown on Thursday was sent off at 12:53, and Dizney Kentucky-bred Exonerated Prez went up for the lead under Yan Aviles. The 6-year-old gelding made every pole a winning one, completing a mile in 1:41.04 and scoring by 1 1/4 lengths. His first victory of 2024 was worth $14.60 at the mutuel windows and he collected a check for $8,640, increasing his total to $83,644 and his record to 5-5-4 in 51 starts.

    At 3:22, they broke from the gate for the sixth race and Dizney Florida-bred Napa Dude wasn’t about to emulate Exonerated Prez. The 4-year-old gelding broke dead last in a nine-horse field, and when they reached the backstretch he was a good 12 lengths behind the leaders. Coming to the turn, Napa Dude began to fly. He went six wide, and inhaled the pack down the lane as announcer Matt Hooks bellowed, “Napa Dude – from out of nowhere” – and he was up at the wire to win by a head in 1:41.28, almost equaling the clocking of Exonerated Prez for the mile.

    Napa Dude paid a healthy $37 and earned a check for $8,400, upping his total to $41,124 on a record of 3-0-4 in 23 starts. And winners’ circles everywhere have been visited by Dudes on 1,002 occasions.