Trainer Nick Zito plans to run My Meadowview Stable’s Boogie Boggs in Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. The 3-year-old son of Dixie Union would make only his third career start in the major 3-year-old 1 1/8-mile test.
Gulfstream lists 10 probable candidates for the Florida Derby: Adore the Gold, Bold Start, Boogie Boggs, Chelokee, Hal's My Hope, Imawildandcrazyguy, Johannesburg Star, Notional, Scat Daddy and Stormello.
“You’ve got to take some chances when they’re doing good, particularly with young horses. That’s my style,” said Zito Saturday afternoon Of Boogie Boggs, who would be attempting a two-turn race for the first time. “You can’t learn anything about them leaving them in the barn. You have to give them a chance. Just going a distance for the first time can make all the difference. Look at this horse that just won.”
Zito was referring to Tracy Farmer’s 3-year-old Comprise, who he saddled to break his maiden in the eighth race Saturday going one mile, returning $193.40 for $2. It was Comprise's second career start after finishing ninth of 10 in his six-furlong debut at Gulfstream on Feb. 24.
“Comprise is by Include . The (added) distance probably had a lot to do with it. How many times have I run a longshot in big races and ended up winning or finishing second somehow?” said Zito. “What’s wrong with that?”
Jockey Joe Bravo is assigned to ride Boogie Boggs for the first time in the Florida Derby after the $650,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase finished second in a seven-furlong allowance at Gulfstream Mar. 3. In his only two previous starts, the roan/gray captured his debut at Saratoga in August and finished fourth in a Feb. 3 allowance going seven furlongs.
Zito won the Florida Derby for the first time in 2005, sending out Live Oak Plantation’s High Fly and My Meadowview’s Noble Causeway for a one-two finish. His first two starters in the race were Strike the Gold in 1991 and Go For Gin in 1994, who finished second and fourth, respectively, in the Gulfstream race before going on to victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.