In a surprise move, trainer Nick Zito has entered A P Valentine in a 1 1/16-mile race at Hialeah Saturday. It was originally planned to run the son of A.P. Indy in the Flamingo Stakes on April 7, but Zito felt it was time to find out just where the colt stood on the Kentucky Derby trail. Iin Saturday's race, A P Valentine will carry 108 pounds as he faces older horses in the optional claiming test for non-winners of two other/than. A P Valentine is one of two starters in the six horse field not running for the claiming price of $150,000.
"I need him to try to go forward," Zito said. "It was torture what we putting this horse through. This will be a much easier spot than the Flamingo, and if we can get past this, and he has a good day in the paddock, then we'll go forward. If the Blue Grass looks feasible, we may go there, and if not, we'll run him in the Lexington Stakes, like Charismatic did. If everything goes well and we get to Kentucky, he'll be fine. He's had two works, and he probably should have had three, but I don't think one work is going to make any difference. We worked him under race conditions the other day in the afternoon and he went in :59 1/5. So, hopefully, we'll find out where we are."
A P Valentine has run once this year, finishing third in a seven-furlong allowance race behind Hero's Tribute. But his shins, which he bucked in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, flared up a little, and Zito has given the colt as much time as he needed.