Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Ice Box tuned up for the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a solid four-furlong workout on Friday, April 16 at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Nick Zito for owner Robert LaPenta, the son of Pulpit covered the distance in :48.40 over a fast track under exercise rider Stacey Prior. Ice Box trained in company with 3-year-old stablemate Morning Line and covered the first quarter in :24 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.20. Morning Line, ridden by Carlos Correa, was timed in: 48.80.
"I was very happy with it," Zito, said, according to Kentucky Derby notes. "The horse has had three mile and an eighth races in a row. I worked him at Palm Meadows before we left (Florida) and this was the work we wanted. Next week we’ll maybe do something a little sharper, and that’s all."
Zito said the 1 1/4-mile Derby distance should be no problem for his chestnut son of Pulpit. "It’s inside him, plus he did it three times in a row," Zito said. "He had three mile and an eighth races this winter and won two of them. He’s got great breeding: his mother won a race going a mile and a half and his sire is Pulpit, who was a fantastic 3-year-old."
Ice Box has won three of seven races and earned $506,534.