Nick Zito

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Look for Birdstone in Classic, Zito Says

Birdstone's 2 1/2-length win Saturday in the Travers (gr. I) at Saratoga, coupled with the colt's upset of Smarty Jones in the Belmont (gr. I), opens up the race for this year's 3-year-old championship, at least in the minds of some.

Birdstone Breezes for Upcoming Travers

Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone, owned by Marylou Whitney Stables, breezed six furlongs in 1:16 Sunday over the fast Oklahoma training track at Saratoga with regular exercise rider Maxine Correa up.

Lion Heart, Rock Hard Ten Set for Haskell

The second season begins in earnest for the 3-year-olds the weekend of Aug. 7-8, with the runnings of the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), and West Virginia Derby (gr. III). If there is even the slimmest chance of dethroning Smarty Jones for the title, someone is going to have to run the table.

The Cliff's Edge Eyes Return in Dwyer

Robert LaPenta's The Cliff's Edge, winner of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland and fifth in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) despite a rough trip in his last start, is scheduled to begin his second season at Belmont Park July 11 in the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

Zito Gearing Up For Second-Half Assault

Nick Zito has been busy recently trying to come up with a schedule for his talented arsenal of 3-year-olds. Even with the loss of Eurosilver, Zito is loaded as he sets his sights on a number of major stakes, beginning with the July 11 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park.

Zito: 'Cliff' Needs a Miracle to Make Belmont

Trainer Nick Zito says he has until Saturday to get a work into The Cliff's Edge, who suffered a foot bruise before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), or he will be forced to miss the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The son of Gulch's problems started when he lost both his front shoes during the running of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Imperialism Confirmed for Preakness

Imperialism, third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), joined the list of probable starters in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), which is expected to feature four of the top five finishers from the May 1 Derby.

Fustok Takes Buckram Oak Horses From Zito

Mahmoud Fustok's Buckram Oak horses in trainer Nick Zito's care have been relocated to other conditioners. The horses left Zito's barn, stayed briefly at Fustok's Buckram Oak Farm near Lexington, and have since been distributed to other trainers. Neither racing manager Mohammed Moubarak nor farm manager Michael Albina would elaborate.

Zito Pair May Join The Cliff's Edge in Preakness

Trainer Nick Zito, who saddled two horses in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), could have two or even three in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Zito said owner Tracy Farmer and racing manager Lincoln Collins are seriously considering the second leg of the Triple Crown for Sir Shackleton and/or Royal Assault.

The Cliff's Edge Sizzles at Churchill

Although the final time might have been a little faster than he would have preferred, trainer Nick Zito was pleased with Monday's workout by The Cliff's Edge as the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner continued to prepare for the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Zito Thrilled by Birdstone's Churchill Work

Marylou Whitney Stable's Birdstone, who was scratched from last week's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, resumed serious preparation for Kentucky Derby 130 (gr. I) May 1 with a five-furlong workout on Thursday at Churchill Downs.

Blue Grass Contenders Work at Keeneland

Dogwood Stable's Limehouse, the recent winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), breezed an easy five furlongs just after the track renovation on Sunday morning, his final work for the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) to be run Saturday.

Brass Hat Grabs Rushaway Ring

Fred F. Bradley's homebred maiden Brass Hat, ridden by Jason Lumpkins, took command in the stretch and rolled to an easy 3 3/4-length victory over a suspect field of 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes at Turfway Park.

Zito Shipping Big Guns to Keeneland

Trainer Nick Zito is beginning his assault on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) by shipping three of his top contenders to Keeneland. The plane carrying Eurosilver, Birdstone, and The Cliff's Edge was expected to land in Central Kentucky today.

Horsin'Around TV Returns to Airwaves

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A familiar television sports program dedicated to Thoroughbred and Harness Racing, is returning to the airwaves. Horsin' Around TV returns March 20. The half-hour program will air twice each Saturday on Fox Sports Net Chicago, at 5:30 a.m. and again at 11 a.m.

Top Sophomores Nominated to Toyota Blue Grass Stakes

Almost all of the leading contenders for the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, including trainer Nick Zito's highly regarded twosome of Birdstone and Eurosilver, are among 157 nominees to Keeneland's $750,000, Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds will be run on Saturday, April 10, three weeks before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). It will be televised live on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET).

Checking Up On Florida's 3-year-olds

Trainer Bob Durso said he will start his undefeated Frisky Spider in either the Hutcheson or the Fountain of Youth, while Nick Zito is considering those races and allowances for Birdstone, Eurosilver, and The Cliff's Edge.

Silver Wagon Hits Derby Trail in Holy Bull

Silver Wagon will hit the trail toward Churchill Downs when he takes the gate against at field of 10 runners in Saturday's $100,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park. The 15th running of the Holy Bull goes as the 10th event on an 11-race card with a first post time of 1 p.m.

Quest's Rugged Clark Journey Ends in DQ Win

Quest was the declared the winner of Friday's $582,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) on a sloppy track after Churchill Downs stewards disqualified favored Evening Attire from his nose victory for drifting out in the stretch run and repeatedly bumping with the 17-1 upstart.

Zito's Ballado Chieftan Seriousy Injured

Stakes-placed Ballado Chieftan, a promising 3-year-old trained by Nick Zito, was seriously injured in a Saturday training mishap at Churchill Downs and was scheduled for surgery later in the day.

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