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Dialed In Breezes, Pleases Zito
By Ed Gray & Jack Will
BOYNTON BEACH, FL – A thick fog blanketed the backstretch of the track at Palm Meadows Thursday morning, obscuring the beginning of Dialed In’s half-mile workout. When the Nick Zito-trained colt came into view and powered past Miner’s Escape to finish seven lengths ahead of his workmate, it became quite clear that Dialed In was ready to run in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream on April 3.
“This is the most important thing. This is the last eighth,” said Zito, proudly holding out his stopwatch with 11:04 digitally displayed. “Did you see how he explodes? You see, he wants to come from behind. He wants to come from out of it. I got a headache from it, I was so excited -- knock on wood.”
Dialed In, who was ridden by exercise rider Maxine Correa, was clocked in :47.55 for what will be his last serious workout for the Florida Derby. The son of Mineshaft, who broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last November, captured the Holy Bull (G3) Stakes at Gulfstream in his second start and returned to finish second against older horses, including his victorious stablemate Equestrio, in a 1-1/8-mile allowance in his most recent start.
“I hope he has a good week next week and get him there and we’ll be happy,” Zito said.
South Florida Horses & Horsemen Make Weekend Road Trips
More than two dozen stakes runners based in South Florida this winter will be in action out of town this weekend to run in major events at Fair Grounds, Turfway Park, Sunland Park and Dubai with seven Gulfstream-based jockeys making trips for mounts in the rich races.
A total of 11 horses made the trip to Fair Grounds in Louisiana from Gulfstream, Palm Meadows, Calder or Payson Park, led by Reeves Thoroughbreds and partners’ 3-year-old Mucho Macho Man, the morning-line favorite in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) for trainer Kathy Ritvo and jockey Rajiv Maragh to ride.
Trainer Kelly Breen has a pair of 3-year-olds in the Louisiana Derby for owners Lori and George Hall in Nacho Business and Pants on Fire and jockey Joe Bravo going along for the mount on the former. Other Gulfstream jockeys riding at Fair Grounds on Saturday are Edgar Prado and Kent Desormeaux.
Sunday, Bravo travels farther west to Sunland Park where Breen has two more 3-year-olds entered in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park in New Mexico with the Halls’ Nacho Saint and Ruler On Ice. Bravo rides Nacho Saint.
Five South Florida-based 3-year-olds that raced at Gulfstream earlier this season are entered to run in the $500,000 Vinery Spiral Stakes (G2) Saturday at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. with jockeys Javier Castellano and Alan Garcia accepting mounts in several races on the track’s biggest day of the year.
Five other stakes stars based in South Florida were flown to the United Arab Emirates last week to run in races on the Dubai World Cup card this Saturday, led by Gio Ponti and Fly Down in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1). I Want Revenge, Stradivinsky and Sweet Ducky will run in other seven-figure stakes on the card. Jockey Julien Leparoux made the trip to ride Fly Downs and Stradavinsky.
Simulcast wagering on the entire card will be available at Gulfstream beginning with the first race at 9:15 a.m.
Flashpoint Drills at Gulfstream Thursday
Peachtree Stable’s 3-year-old Flashpoint was prominent on the Gulfstream Park work tab Thursday morning as he worked six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 for trainer Rick Dutrow in preparation for an engagement next Sunday in either the $150,000 Swale Stakes (G3) at seven furlongs or the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at 1 1/8 miles.
The roan/gray colt by Pomeroy has flashed brilliance in his two career starts, winning his debut at Aqueduct on Jan. 15 by 6 ¼ lengths going six furlongs and the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at seven furlong over the Gulfstream track on Feb. 26 by 7 ¼ lengths, ridden both times by jockey Cornelio Velasquez.