For a summer race that plays second fiddle to the Travers Stakes (gr. I), the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) sure knows how to draw a nice field--and a large one at that.
Nick Zito, who just a few weeks ago was enshrined in racing's Hall of Fame, has been named one of three award winners by the National Turf Writers Association.
With the defection of Bellamy Road from the Aug. 27 King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) to run instead in the $1-million Travers (gr. I), Lost in the Fog once again looks to have a race at his mercy, something trainer Greg Gilchrist has mixed feelings about.
Trainer Nick Zito said Tuesday morning that Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road will make his long awaited return to the races in the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I), instead of the King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I), the race that was originally on his schedule. Both races are Saturday at Saratoga.
Despite overnight rains that left Saratoga's main track muddy for the second consecutive morning, some key workouts were recorded Sunday for two grade I stakes for 3-year-olds contested at the spa next Saturday, the 1 1/4-mile Travers and the seven-furlong King's Bishop.
Grade I winner Commentator breezed a half mile over Saratoga's training track Friday morning in :51. It was the gelding's first recorded work since winning the Whitney Handica (gr. I) Aug. 6.
- By Ron Mitchell
Multiple graded stakes winner Eurosilver has been retired after being diagnosed with a hairline fracture of his left hind leg following his sixth-place finish in the Aug. 6 Whitney Handicap.
Noble Causeway, a late scratch prior to the Jim Dandy (gr. II) who was pulled up early in an allowance race Aug. 6, does not have a stress fracture, according to trainer Nick Zito. The colt was diagnosed by Dr. Larry Bramlage at the Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in Lexington, Ky.
Trainer Nick Zito says Wood Memorial (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road, owned by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable, is under consideration for the Travers (gr. I) after the colt worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 Saturday morning over a sloppy Saratoga track.
Trainer Nick Zito had Andromeda's Hero on the track Thursday morning at Saratoga Race Course working toward a start in the Aug. 27 Travers (gr. I). With exercise rider Jorge Abreu, Andomeda's Hero breezed five furlongs on the Saratoga main track in 1:02.
Just 12 hours after posting a 1 1/2-length win in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park, Roman Ruler was on a van headed for Saratoga as trainer Bob Baffert weighs his options with his now grade I winning colt.
Saying racing is all about the fans and calling himself "the luckiest fan alive," Nick Zito entered the Hall of Fame Monday with the same humility and grace that has marked his life-long love affair with Thoroughbred racing.
Nick Zito's world doesn't spin on the same axis as everyone else's. It is a world of erupting volcanoes and avalanches of emotion. And that pretty much sums up his days leading up to his crowning achievement – induction into racing's Hall of Fame.
The classy sprinter Commentator was able to stretch his speed all the way to the wire under Gary Stevens in Saturday's $750,000 Whitney Handicap (gr. I), digging in to hold off Saint Liam by a neck at Saratoga Race Course.
The Nick Zito-trained 3-year-old colt Noble Causeway, a controversial late scratch in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) a week ago, was eased by jockey Ramon Dominguez in the third race at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Thoroughbred racing will honor trainer Nick Zito and three others when the class of 2005 is inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame on Monday.
A field of eight older horses is set to line up for Saturday's 78th running of the prestigious Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. Won by Roses in May in thrilling fashion over Perfect Drift in 2004, this year's edition includes division leader Saint Liam--with trainers Nick Zito and Todd Pletcher entering two starters each.
Trainer Nick Zito will send two of his 2005 Triple Crown contenders into action in Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course. Belmont Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Andromeda's Hero and barnmate Noble Causeway lead the field of six entered.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, fitted with blinkers by trainer Nick Zito, went gate to wire to win the $300,000 Leonard Richards (gr. III) for 3-year-olds by 5 3/4 lengths Sunday at Delaware Park.
Glencrest Farm's odds-on favorite Honey Ryder pounded out a convincing 5 1/4-length victory over nine rivals in the $296,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial for fillies and mares at Delaware Park Saturday.
Newly elected Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Jerry Bailey, and New York Racing Association president and CEO Charles E. Hayward will be panel guests at the July 25 "Saratoga Preview" program at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Famein Saratoga Springs, New York.
Saratoga Racecourse will depart from its traditional "Steeplechase Wednesdays" on Aug. 8 this year so the the A.P. Smithwick Memorial (NSA-II) can be run in conjunction with the annual induction ceremonies for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Trainer Nick Zito has had nine horses finish behind Afleet Alex this year, and will try him again with three more in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). That in itself would certainly make the Preakness (gr. I) winner a thorn in Zito's side. But Zito and Alex have a history together that goes back a lot farther than this year's Triple Crown trail.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex turned in another of his unique feats Monday by jogging a mile and a half at 6:15, then going out at 8:45 and galloping three miles in the sweltering heat and humidity.
Trainer Nick Zito says he'll probably start recent allowance winner Indy Storm in next Saturday's $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), giving him three contenders for the final jewel of the Triple Crown.
Nick Zito, soon to become racing's newest Hall of Fame trainer, committed Sir Barton winner Pinpoint to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 11 after the son of Peaks and Valleys worked Thursday at Saratoga's Oklahoma training track.
Round Pond, who has been out of action since winning the April 15 Fantasy Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, highlights a solid field of six 3-year-old fillies entered in Saturday's $250,000 Acorn (gr. I), going one mile at Belmont Park.
Trainer Nick Zito, the 57-year-old New York native who has won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) twice, is rarely at a loss for words. But in trying to express his feelings over the announcement he will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame this year, reacted, "I just don't know what to say."
Maylou Whitney and her husband, John Hendrickson, who won the grade I Belmont Stakes and Travers last year and the Kentucky Oaks in 2003, have hired Nick Zito assistant Reynaldo Abreu as their private trainer.
Nick Zito's run of bad luck in this year's Triple Crown continued Monday when it was discovered My Meadowview Farm's Noble Causeway had entrapped his epiglottis in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and will undergo a myectomy to correct the problem.
When the field crossed the finish line in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), it already was clear who my Preakness (gr. I) selection would be. In fact, it was at the quarter pole, as Greeley's Galaxy closed to within four lengths of the leaders, that I started thinking, 'There's the Preakness winner.'
In the race immediately preceding the Preakness (gr. I) at Pimlico Saturday, eight older horses will contest the $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) over nine furlongs.
Complete daily report on contenders for Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Racecourse.
The field for the May 21 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) continues to grow, as one horse was reported to be on his way to Baltimore, a second became a surprise supplement to the race, and trainer Nick Zito gave some indication as to which of his horses may still be in play.
One day after riding Giacomo to an upset victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at 50-1 odds, jockey Mike Smith was in the limelight Sunday morning in the Churchill Downs barn area.
As expected, the names of 20 3-year-olds were dropped into the entry box for Saturday's $2-million Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Nearly 500 guests crowded into the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Louisville Tuesday night to celebrate this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders, and honor the trainers who have propelled them to their spots in Saturday's Run for the Roses.
"Come on six! Stay up three! Get out of there 12! Where's the four? Who's that?" These may sound like the common shouts of an overzealous, exotics-playing railbird, but on Saturday, it just might be something you hear from as esteemed a place as the Churchill Downs box of New York-born trainer Nick Zito.
Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey said he is excited about his mount on Florida Derby (gr. I) winner High Fly for what could be the rider's last trip in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) May 7.
Keeneland's spring meet ended April 29 with record total attendance and the second highest on-track mutuel handle in history but a decline in total handle and total daily average handle.
Three of trainer Nick Zito's five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) starters drilled Sunday morning at Churchill Downs and all three "went exceptionally well" for the two-time Derby-winning trainer. All three worked under blue skies and cool weather with exercise rider Maxine Correa aboard.
With the inclement weather that had set in over Louisville, Ky. finally out of the area, seven contenders for Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) breezed at Churchill Downs Sunday morning.
With the Churchill Downs track soaked from overnight rains, trainer Nick Zito called off the works for three of his five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) candidates Saturday morning and moved them to Sunday – weather permitting. Scheduled to breeze tomorrow are Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road and the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I): High Fly and Noble Causeway.
An ugly, rainy morning, and no Kentucky Derby (gr. I) works made for a funky Friday. The Derby lost one prospective starter when it was announced General John B will not run due to a tendon injury to his left front leg. On the jockey front was the announcement that Pat Valenzuela will ride Coolmore Lexington (gr. II) winner Coin Silver.
Most Kentucky Derby (gr. I) works are pretty uneventful, but that certainly wasn't the case Thursday morning. You had Bobby Frankel calling a last-minute audible and working High Limit in company with Ghostzapper, and you had Greater Good and Greeley's Galaxy turn in two of the strangest Derby works in memory.
Two of the five horses trainer Nick Zito is pointing toward the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) worked Thursday morning and the conditioner was pleased with how both 3-year-olds did.
After a one-year hiatus from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey is back, seeking his third win in the classic. Bailey, 47, who also just released his autobiography "Against the Odds: Riding for My Life," is booked to ride Florida Derby (gr. I) winner High Fly for trainer Nick Zito.
Breeder/owner William S. Farish will be seeking his third-straight win in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) Thursday at Keeneland Race Course with his 4-year-old colt Alumni Hall.
As Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day draws closer, a number of 3-year-old fillies hit the Churchill Downs oval over the weekend in advance of the May 6 race.
As a road trip to Louisville, Ky. for the Kentucky Derby rekindles memories of Smarty Jones' 2004 journey, there are also omens pointing to Afleet Alex as another Triple Crown Trail success story out of Philadelphia Park.
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