Passed in upper stretch by A Little Warm, Morning Line battled back along the rail to get up by a neck in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) to win his stakes debut for trainer Nick Zito at Parx Racing Sept. 25.
Trainer Nick Zito reported Aug. 30 that Miner's Reserve sustained a hairline fracture in his right knee in the Travers Stakes (gr. I) and the Mineshaft colt will be sidelined for several months.
He set the pace in the "Midsummer Derby" before finishing seventh.
Robert LaPenta's 3-year-olds Miner's Reserve and Ice Box put in workouts Aug. 20 at Saratoga, with both colts from the barn of Nick Zito listed as possible for the $1 million Travers (gr. I) on Aug. 28.
- By Vic Zast
The ingredients didn't seem very special, and yet the day turned out swell. Read Blog
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito had Ice Box, Fly Down, and Miner's Reserve all put in half-mile workouts over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga the morning of Aug. 12.
Fly Down, the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) runner-up, tuned up for Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) with a bullet half-mile move July 26 under jockey Jose Lezcano.
Trainer Bill Mott said he's looking forward to his primary goal this summer for Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Drosselmeyer, the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 28.
WinStar Farm's Drosselmeyer gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his first win in a Triple Crown race, as he wore down pacesetter First Dude and held off a late charge from Fly Down to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Lenny Shulman talks to Nick Zito about his Belmont entries, Ice Box and Fly Down. Watch Video
Ice Box, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), drew post position 6 and was installed as the 3-1 morning favorite when a dozen horses were entered for the June 5, $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
For Richard Pell, the owner of Fly Down, a victory in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) would be a hometown home run.
If people think there is nothing historical about this year's Belmont, they are greatly mistaken.
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito put the finishing touches on the second of his two Belmont Stakes (gr. I) candidates May 30, sending Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner Fly Down out for a bullet half-mile work.
Kentucky Derby runner-up Ice Box turned in a bullet half-mile work in :46 3/5 over the Oklahoma training track.
Ice Box, who finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby, is the probable favorite for the Belmont Stakes. View Profile
Robert LaPenta Jr.'s Ice Box, the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) runner-up and probable morning-line favorite for the upcoming Belmont Stakes (gr. I), turned in a four-furlong work at Saratoga May 19.
A little gate training and an easy gallop was all Jackson Bend required May 14 to be honed for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) hopeful Jackson Bend was aboard a flight from Churchill Downs along with many of the other hopefuls for the May 16 race that was scheduled to arrive in Baltimore May 12.
Nick Zito found another major contender for next month's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), as Richard Pell's Fly Down demolished six 3-year-old rivals in the $200,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) May 8 at Belmont Park.
Trainer Nick Zito confirmed May 5 that Ice Box, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will not be going on to Baltimore to compete in the May 15 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico.
Super Saver teamed up with three powerhouses to win the 136th Kentucky Derby.
On a wet morning of May 2 at Churchill Downs, trainer Todd Pletcher was absorbing the previous day's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) victory by Super Saver as the trainers of others made future plans.
The two top choices in the first leg of the 2010 Triple Crown are based in California. Lookin at Lucky, the 3-1 morning-line favorite, and Sidney's Candy, the 5-1 second choice, lead a field of 20 3-year-olds in Derby 136.
Nick Zito's Florida Derby (gr. I) winner heats things up over a sloppy Churchill Downs surface April 23.
Jackson Bend, who is on the outside looking in as far as getting into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) field of 20, turned in a bullet five-furlong move April 22 at Churchill Downs for trainer Nick Zito.
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.
The Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs will re-open April 18 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Hall of Fame trainers D. Wayne Lukas, Bob Baffert, and Nick Zito.
Jackson Bend, runner-up in both the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Wood Memorial (gr. I) stakes, displayed a fondness for Churchill Downs as the Nick Zito trainee worked a fast four furlongs April 15.
Listen to Robert LaPenta discuss Ice Box, Nick Zito, advice for new owners, and more. Listen to Podcast!
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
By one of the hottest sires in American and out of a stamina-oriented mare, Ice Box has bloodlines that indicate he's a smart pedigree pick for the Triple Crown races.
Ice Box, the less fancied of two runners trained by Nick Zito for owner Robert LaPenta, ground out a nose victory over another outsider, Pleasant Prince, in the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) March 20.
Ice Box drilled a bullet half-mile in :47 1/5 at Palm Meadows for trainer Nick Zito on the morning of March 13 as he tunes up for the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
Graded stakes winners Cool Coal Man and Grasshopper drew the top weight assignments as part of a contentious field for the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 13.
Calvin Borel has been named to ride Jackson Bend in the Wood Memorial, replacing Jeremy Rose.
Time to reevaluate some of the horses and races, and a look at the Sham Stakes and several classy maiden and allowance races.
The 3-year-old is one of the favorites for the Fountain of Youth (gr. II).
Lookin At Lucky and She Be Wild, the champion 2-year-old male and female, respectively, of 2009, top the list of 366 early nominees to the 2010 Triple Crown races.
Robert LaPenta's Jackson Bend worked a bullet five furlongs in :59.30 on Jan. 16 at Palm Meadows for trainer Nick Zito. He is preparing for his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III).
Robert LaPenta, a leading owner and pinhooker, will sponsor the 2010 Derby Trial (gr. III) at Churchill Downs April 24, the track announced Jan. 8.
Steve Haskin ranks the greatest training achievements for the years 2000 - 2009, both for a trainer with an individual horse and overall. Who's #1?
Jacks or Better Farm's co-owner Fred Brei said Oct. 26 he has sold a majority interest in his homebred 2-year-old star Jackson Bend to Robert LaPenta for an undisclosed sum.
Tracy and Carol Farmer have chosen Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, Ky., as the permanent home for two-time Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Commentator, it was announced Oct. 2.
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) paid tribute to Commentator Sept. 6, at Saratoga Race Course. The 8-year-old chestnut gelding, owned by Tracy Farmer and trained by Hall of Famer Nick Zito, was retired from racing Aug. 9, a day after finishing third in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I). He was attempting to join Discovery and Kelso as the only three-time winners of the race in its 82-year history.
Robert LaPenta Coal Play, best known for nearly shocking Big Brown in last year's Haskell Invitational (gr. I), will look for his fourth win over the Monmouth Park main track when he takes on six rivals in the $300,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (gr. III) on Aug. 22.
The New York Racing Association will pay tribute to one of the most popular horses in racing when the recently-retired Commentator is honored on Sept. 6 at Saratoga.
Tracy Farmer's two-time Whitney Handicap (gr. I) winner Commentator has been retired after finishing third in his quest for a record-tying third win in the Saratoga event, trainer Nick Zito announced on the morning of Aug. 9.
The longest shot in a field of six, 18-1 Bullsbay pulled a shocking upset in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 8 at Saratoga, splitting horses on the turn and pulling away for a 1 1/2-length score under Jeremy Rose.
The ageless Commentator will try to stand alongside the great Kelso as the oldest horse ever to win the prestigious Whitney Handicap (gr. I), a race he will also attempt to capture for a record-tying third time.
Commentator, the 8-year-old who Aug. 8 will attempt to become only the third horse in history to win the $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I) three times, turned in another excellent work Aug. 1 at Saratoga, covering a half-mile in :47.85, handily.
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