Birth Date: Friday, February 6, 1948
Birth Place: New York, N.Y.
2012-13 Gulfstream Record
Career:Zito saddled Fort Loudon for a victory in the Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship (G3) during the 2012-13 meeting.
He is one of only two trainers in Gulfstream history to saddle the winner of the Florida Derby (G1) in consecutive years. Zito won the race with Dialed In in 2011 after winning with Ice Box in 2010. Ice Box finished a troubled second in the Kentucky Derby. Zito’s other Florida Derby winner is High Fly.
Zito has saddled two Kentucky Derby winners: Strike the Gold in 1991 and Go For Gin in 1994. His personal Triple Crown was completed by Louis Quatorze (1996 Preakness) and Birdstone (2004). After snuffing out Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown bid in the Belmont, Birdstone came back to win the Travers (G1). Da’ Tara gave him his second Belmont win with a 38-1 front-running romp in 2008.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Zito has saddled two Breeders’ Cup winners: Storm Song (1996 Juvenile Fillies) and War Pass (2007 Juvenile), both of whom would be honored with Eclipse Awards.
He trained Jackson Bend to victory in the 2011 Forego (G1) and they teamed up again to capture the 2012 Carter (G1).
Zito saddled Commentator, a New York-bred gelding, for a pair of victories in the Whitney in 2005 and 2008.
Zito trained Bird Town, Birdstone’s half-sister, to 3-year-old filly championship of 2003 after winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
On March 24, 2001, he sent out two horses, Albert the Great and AP Valentine, to set Hialeah Park track records.
He won the 2000 Donn Handicap (G1) with Stephen Got Even.
Other top runners have been The Cliff’s Edge, Suave Prospect, Greenwood Lake, Najran, Halory Hunter and Thirty Six Red.
Other: He would go to racetrack with his father, once an exercise rider for trainer Max Hirsch and a chauffer for New York Mayor Robert Wagner, as a child growing up near Aqueduct.
Started at the track at age 15 as a hotwalker for Buddy Jacobson.
He advanced to become assistant trainer to John Campo and Leroy Jolley before branching out on his own in 1972 with a stable of two horses.
His first winner was Palais at Liberty Bell in December, 1972.
He and wife, Kim, are active in Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.