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Holy Bull Winner Dialed In To Race Sunday
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Robert LaPenta’s 3-year-old Dialed In, among the nation’s leading Kentucky Derby (G1) and Triple Crown prospects this season, is entered to make his third career start for trainer Nick Zito in a $59,300 ‘two other than’ optional/allowance race Sunday at Gulfstream Park, carded for 1 1/8 miles with a field of five that includes three older horses.
Jockey Julien Leparoux retains the mount on Dialed In as he bids for his third victory in as many starts. The son of Mineshaft was a $475,000 Saratoga yearling sales purchase and attracted a large following after winning his debut at Churchill Downs on Nov. 12 going 6 ½ furlongs when he rallied from last in a field of 12 through the stretch to win by a half-length.
Zito had Dialed In entered in a nine-furlong ‘a other than’ allowance on Jan. 21, but scratched after the track came up very ‘sloppy’ as Soldat went on to an easy victory. Zito opted instead to run Dialed In in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) on Jan. 30 going a one-turn mile, which he won in another remarkable performance with a last-to-first rally under Leparoux to score by 1 ½ lengths.
Zito felt that it would be too much to ask the talented colt to come back just four weeks later in last Saturday’s $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at 1 1/8 miles, a race won by Soldat. In order to help insure that Sunday’s race would be carded, Zito also entered Thoroughbreds Legends Racing Stable’s 4-year-old Equestrio, a son of Elusive Quality that won an ‘a other than’ allowance here early in the meet.
Dialed In’s most accomplished rivals are Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 4-year-old William’s Kitten with Rajiv Margh aboard for trainer Mike Maker and Roger Urbina’s 3-year-old Reprized Halo to be ridden by apprentice J.L. Alvarez for trainer Manny Azpurua, both horses with stakes experience.
William’s Kitten is a Kentucky homebred by Kitten’s Joy that won the Sunday Silence Stakes at Louisiana Downs in 2009 and late finished eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) that fall at Santa Anita when beaten only 4 ¾ lengths by the Vale of York. He closed out his 2-year-old season finishing second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) behind Super Saver at Churchill Downs in November.
William’s Kitten made only one start last year as a 3-year-old, finishing third in the Holy Bull here on Jan. 23 and didn’t run again until exactly a year later this season here on Jan. 23. He was obviously rusty, finishing seventh in an open one-mile allowance race after a slow start.
Reprized Halo has had good days and bad days the last two seasons, most recently finishing last of 10 in the $225,000 Sam Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 12 in his first start since November. The son of Halo’s Image posted a 46-to-1 upset to win the $350,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder in October with favorite Gourmet Dinner second.
Completing the field is Lothenbach Stable’s 4-year-old gelding Valerius with Emma-Jayne Wilson named to ride for trainer Ian Wilkes. Valerius is a homebred by Aldebaran and won an ‘a other than’ allowance last out going two turns at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 3 in his first start since finishing second for a $30,000 claiming tag at Churchill Downs on Nov. 19.