Monday, January 31, 2011

Zito "Dialed In" - Derby Top 21 for January 31st

In what has so far been the best performance of the new year, DIALED IN came storming down the stretch from off the pace, to win the Holy Bull Stakes yesterday by a widening 1 & 1/2 lengths. With only a Maiden win on his resume, the Mineshaft colt impressively dispatched the field of accomplished 3 year olds, including Gourmet Dinner, Sweet Ducky, and favored Mucho Macho Man.

Dialed In (Mineshaft) wins the Holy Bull. (Photo: Joe Ganley/EquiSport Photos)

Trainer Nick Zito had originally entered Dialed In in an Allowance two weeks earlier, but scratched due to sloppy conditions. The jump straight into Stakes company is unusual for a Maiden winner.
 “He’s very special," Zito said. "I’ve never had a horse do this, go from a maiden special race to jump up and win a race like the Holy Bull.

Ridden patiently by Julien Leparoux, Dialed In spotted the field 10 lengths down the backside before angling in at the far turn. He made his move coming out wide in the turn, collecting rivals in his wake. "Nick told me just to leave him alone and drop to the rail and that’s what I did" Leparoux recounted. "He said just to be patient. When I asked him, he really ran on well. This is obviously a very nice horse.”

The long time partnership between Owner Robert LaPenta and Nick Zito has produced serious Derby contenders in the past, including last year's Ice Box, and War Pass before that. “There’s a long way to go, but this certainly puts him on the Trail," said LaPenta. "Nick did an incredible job training this horse up to this race, getting him ready and not rushing him. This had to be one of Nick’s best training jobs.”

Others making the Top 20 this week:

Veteran trainer Neil Howard has a couple of up and coming colts getting noticed in New Orleans.

MACHEN (Distorted Humor) improved to 2-for 2 with an impressive Allowance win at Fairgrounds January 30th. The 3-year-old now has sights set on the Derby Trail with a possible next start in the Risen Star Febraury 19th. "It was only his second start and, it's funny, he's got a great demeanor, but these three-year-olds, they're still kind of young and they're looking around," Howard said. "They're not completely smooth yet. I think all of that will subside away."

Howard's deep stable also includes WILKINSON (Lemon Drop Kid). Garrett Gomez rode the colt to a rail skimming victory in the Lecomte Stakes at Fairgrounds January 22. “He’s still learning how to run but he pays attention,” said Gomez. “Neil just told me to have confidence in this horse so I did.”

The "WORD". Top 20 (or so) Kentucky Derby Trail

Rank Horse (Sire)
1 UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie)
2 TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini)
3 DIALED IN (Mineshaft)
5 TAPIZAR (Tapit)
6 COMMA TO THE TOP (Bwana Charlie)
7 SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway)
8 STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini)
9 JAYCITO (Victory Gallop)
10 WILKINSON (Lemon Drop Kid)
11 JP'S GUSTO (Successful Appeal)
12 ROGUE ROMANCE (Smarty Jones)
15 SWEET DUCKY (Pulpit)
16 MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno)
17 BRETHREN (Distorted Humor)
18 SOLDAT (War Front)
19 THE FACTOR (War Front)
20 MACHEN Distorted (Humor)
21 ELITE ALEX (Afleet Alex)
22 CASPER'S TOUCH (Touch Gold)

That's it for now.. mw


  1. Nick Zito was a genius to run Dialed In in the Holy Bull. I was very skeptical that he could win but man did he prove everyone wrong!
    It seems like pretty deep crop of 3-year-olds this year.

    Machen is definitely one of my favorites. I loved the way he punched through that hole in the homestretch like a true professional.

  2. Dear Nick,

    You had A P Valentine jump from a msw to a G1 and win. Why do you forget him? This makes me sad.