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.
- By Ron Mitchell
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.
The Nick Zito-trained pair of High Fly and Noble Causeway, the one-two finishers in the Florida Derby (gr. I), breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs Friday, although Zito said both colts actually worked six furlongs after breaking off between poles. Also on the work tab Friday was Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Greeley's Galaxy.
Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road, the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 at Churchill Downs Thursday morning. It was the colt's first work since his 17 1/2-length romp in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) April 9.
Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito now has jockeys set for all five of his contenders for the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on Saturday, May 7.
Trainer Nick Zito said Robert V. LaPenta's Andromeda's Hero, third in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II), will stay away from the Kentucky Derby excitement (gr. I) at Churchill Downs until just before the race.
In the Gold dueled with Aspen Tree at the top of the stretch, gradually pulling away to a 1 1/4-length win in the $250,000 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies Thursday at Keeneland.
Live Oak Plantation's In the Gold made a sweeping move on the far turn and held off a determined Aspen Tree in the stretch for a 1 1/2-length score in Thursday's Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland Race Course.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King and Mary and Gary West's High Limit turned in strong works Monday at Churchill Downs in preparation for Saturday's $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
There was no one on Bellamy Road (also known as the Aqueduct stretch on Saturday) except one lone traveler who cruised along in isolated splendor as if out for an afternoon joy ride. But the Wood Memorial (gr. I) was not the only big race last weekend, despite what one may think of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
On the strength of his 17 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct, Kinsman Stable's Bellamy Road emerged from a record-smashing third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager as a strong 3-1 favorite to win the famed "Run for the Roses" on May 7.
George Steinbrenner's Bellamy Road became a serious contender for next month's Kentucky Derby (Gr. I) with a stunning 17 1/2-length victory over a half dozen overmatched rivals in Saturday's $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I) at Aqueduct.
Robert LaPenta's Andromeda's Hero, prepping for a possible start in the April 16 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park, worked five furlongs at Keeneland Friday morning.
There was plenty of pre-race action at Keeneland Race Course Tuesday morning as a handful of potential Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) runners, including a possible Marker's Mark Mile (gr. IT) and Ashland Stakes (gr. I) starter hit the oval. Opening day at Keeneland is April 8.
High Fly and Sun King, trained by two-time Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winning trainer Nick Zito, and juvenile filly champion Sweet Catomine are listed among the favorites in a wide open third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its April 7-10 run Thursday.
Nick Zito's Run For the Roses Regiment continued its assault on Churchill Downs this past weekend, as High Fly and Noble Causeway finished one-two in the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I) on April 2, giving Zito five top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contenders for five different owners.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, winner of both his starts this year including the Tampa Bay Derby, breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for the April 16 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).
Blanked with his 16 previous starters, trainer Nick Zito finally won the Florida Derby (gr. I) when his heavily favored High Fly rolled to a confident victory for Jerry Bailey Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Nick Zito, who has failed to win the Florida Derby (gr. I) in 16 prior attempts, will saddle the top two morning-line favorites in Saturday's $1-million race.
Ghostzapper, the powerful winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), led the list of 2004 award winners announced by the New York Turf Writers' Association March 23.
So, where are the best 3-year-olds based? Florida, Arkansas, California, and New York can all make a case for being the hot spot right now following Saturday's stirring and strange turn of events. With Declan's Moon and now Roman Ruler out of the picture, and Afleet Alex and Wilko facing uphill battles, last year's top 2-year-olds are fading fast.
Ten horses, five jockeys, and five trainers have been nominated for the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame, museum president John von Stade announced Monday. The slate of nominees is the first presented under the revised procedures of Thoroughbred racing's official national Hall of Fame.
Tracy Farmer's Sun King, sent off as the 1-20 wagering favorite in the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) Saturday, showed some true grit while fending off a couple of challenges from the quarter pole to mid-stretch before pulling away to a 3 1/4-length victory.
Live Oak Plantation's High Fly, early favorite for the Florida Derby (gr. I) - Gulfstream's showcase event for 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby aspirations - breezed five furlongs in 1:02 at the Palm Meadows training center Saturday morning.
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