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.
The 3-year-old is one of the favorites for the Fountain of Youth (gr. II).
Champion 2-year-old's first foal is a filly born at Calumet Farm.
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).
Churchill Downs has unveiled a $9.025 million stakes schedule for its 2010 Spring and Fall racing meets in 2010. The schedule includes six grade I races and the return of the La Troienne Stakes.
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.
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.
Our Edge, a fast-developing 3-year-old colt trained by Nick Zito for Robert LaPenta, made easy work of 10 rivals in the $152,100 Barbaro Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park July 19.
Coal Play, ridden on the front end by Joe Bravo, ran his seven rivals off their feet in the $250,000 Salvator Mile (gr. III) at Monmouth Park July 4, gaining an early berth to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Rock Hard Ten, the multiple grade I-winning son of Kris S., got his inital winner and first stakes winner June 26 when Long Lashes won the Ballygallon Stud Stakes for juvenile fillies at the Curragh in Ireland.
When considering company that you'd be honored to be associated with, Penny Chenery would make a fine start. Owner Robert LaPenta has two chances to join Chenery and her Meadow Stable as the most recent back-to-back winners of the Triple Crown's third jewel.
With the recent spell of wet weather having finally moved on, three contenders for the 141st running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) turned in their final serious moves this morning at Belmont Park in preparation for the June 6 race.
Robert V. LaPenta's Brave Victory and Miner's Escape breezed a half-mile in company on the main track at Belmont Park May 21 as they prepped for a start in the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6.
With prices tumbling at the early select sales of 2-year-olds in training, pinhookers, who provide most of the stock for the auctions, already are thinking about how they are going to approach their next buying-and-selling cycle. It's not good news for yearling consignors because, in general, pinhookers plan to be much less aggressive when buying young horses later this year.
Frank Calabrese's Casey's On Call puts his undefeated record on the line Nov. 1 when he faces seven juveniles in the $100,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
Vineyard Haven, Cribnote, Munnings and Break Water Edison, the top four finishers, respectively, in the Hopeful Stakes (gr.I) last month at Saratoga, meet again in the $400,000 Champagne Stakes (gr.I) at Belmont Park Oct. 4.
Boyers and consignors discuss the market at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, held Aug. 4 and 5 in New York.
Long Branch (gr. III) winner Truth Rules will miss the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 3 due to a fever, and will be replaced by Coal Play, trainer Nick Zito said Wednesday
Champion War Pass is continuing to heal from a fracture to a sesamoid suffered in the Wood Memorial (gr. I). Plans for return to racetrack still up in the air.
Colt will be re-X-rayed after two months.
Cool Coal Man, who ran ninth in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), worked a half mile in :47 2/5 under exercise rider Megan Smillie at Churchill Downs April 24.
In spite of the shocking news of the Triple Crown trail-ending injury to 2007 juvenile champion male War Pass and the apparent decision to forego the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) for a run in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) by the connections of Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner Behindatthebar, a 20-horse field is still being predicted for the 134th Run for the Roses May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Robert LaPenta's War Pass, the champion 2-year-old of 2007 and winner of the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade I) at Monmouth Park, has suffered a leg injury that has knocked the colt out of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
The Blue Grass Stakes News Minute plus interviews from the Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) dinner held on April 10, 2008. Includes interviews with Michael Matz, trainer of Visionaire, Edgar Prado, jockey for Monba, Robert LaPenta, owner of Cool Coal Man and Stevil and more.
Robert LaPenta jokingly discusses his Blue Grass Stakes strategy during a preview dinner at Keeneland April 10.
- By Claire Novak
Robert LaPenta's War Pass has drawn post position number five in the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), an April 5 prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) that has drawn a field of 10 3-year-old contenders.
With the final Derby preps approaching, there is no more room for error. It's time to earn your way into the Run for the Roses or pack up and go home. The three graded stakes this weekend, the grade I Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial and grade II Illinois Derby, offer intriguing plot lines that will make or break aspiring Derby hopefuls.
HRTV's originally produced weekly show on top Derby prospects and the road to the Triple Crown. This week's episode includes an interview with Robert LaPenta, owner of War Pass and Cool Coal Man, a detailed analysis of the San Felipe Stakes, a look at the Graded Earnings List, and a preview of the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II).
Bob LaPenta and Nick Zito have always taken pride in their honesty, and with the nightmare of War Pass' shocking performance in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) still causing them sleepless nights, LaPenta feels the need to address his comment after the race that the colt had a fever earlier in the week.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman - It leaves a bad taste in the collective mouths of the betting public when it believes it has been misled.
So, the undefeated 2-year-old champion, sent off at 1-20 in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III), had a fever the week before the race and the public was unaware of it. There is nothing that can be said here that won't be said in the weeks to come by those who bet War Pass, including the bridge jumpers, and those who had invested in him emotionally.
Juvenile champion War Pass was impressive in his 3-year-old debut Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park, looking sharp in a one-mile allowance race against four overmatched foes.
Three-year-olds around the country continue to get "zapped" by the Derby trail's three-headed monster. You know, zap, as in Nick Zito, Steve Asmussen, and Todd Pletcher.
Silver Edition, a colt by Silver Deputy and the main Kentucky Derby hopeful for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, takes on six challengers in the Swale Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 2 at Gulfstream Park.
War Pass, undefeated winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), received the high weight assignment of 127 pounds on the 2007 Experimental Free Handicap.
War Pass capped off his perfect season Jan. 21 with championship honors as the leading 2-year-old male.
Once more, War Pass has proven that no one can run with him. Robert LaPenta's undefeated colt set a fast pace on a sloppy Monmouth Park strip and took command early on the far turn, finishing up nicely to register a 4 3/4-length in the $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 27.
Four of the seven horses that will contest Saturday's Belmont Stakes have owners from the New York metropolitan area, giving a distinct local feel to the Big Apple's big race.
As post positions were drawn Wednesday for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the field finally settled in at seven runners after a few horsemen decided that the Belmont would be, then wouldn't be, a fine race in which to run their horses.
Seek Gold, 91-1 upset winner of the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) in his last start, arrived at Hollywood Park from Louisville on Wednesday afternoon with a new giant to slay – Lava Man in Saturday's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).
The morning after Seek Gold's stunning upset in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) was, in the words of trainer Ron Moquett, "surreal."
A field of eight older horses passed the entry box for Saturday's Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) valued at $300,000. Suave and Sun King, grade II winners last season, are each looking for his first win of 2006.
Pies Prospect shattered the 1 1/16-mile track record at Tampa Bay Downs in Friday's featured ninth race with a clocking of 1:43.27. The old mark set on March 29, 1989 was held by Sunny Prospector of 1:43.40.
Andromeda's Hero overpowered his stablemate Seek Gold with a big move on the far turn and sped to victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Calder Race Course, his first win in 10 starts.
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.
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.
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.
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