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Dialed In Dialed into Kentucky Derby According to Zito - 04-13-11

April 13 - Racehorse trainer Nick Zito has such high hopes for his charge Dialed In in next month's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, that he intends to complete the colt's prep with just a few more gallops and a five-furlong work before the epic race.

As the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby, Dialed In will be under much scrutiny before the May 7 race, although Zito seems to be very relaxed about his training technique, which he used to prep the colt en route to his recent $1 million Florida Derby win.

This 'technique' included an easy half-mile breeze at Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center in Florida yesterday morning, which he completed in 49.90s under regular exercise rider Maxine Correa, and was considered nothing more than a 'legwarmer.'

Said Zito, 'I just told Maxine to go real slow and let him run a little through the lane. He was so relaxed and he's just so talented he was able to go in 49s and change and come home his final quarter in 24. We're taking him out earlier now to beat the heat.'

In the same way he prepped Dialed In for the Florida Derby, Zito will keep Dialed In at Palm Meadows until a week before the Kentucky Derby, which differs from his usual practice of shipping his runners to Churchill Downs well in advance of the race.

But the respected trainer obviously figures that if this technique worked to secure a victory in the Florida Derby, there's no reason why it won't work again for the Kentucky Derby, arguably one of the most coveted races on the U.S. horse racing calendar.

Of course, Zito is no stranger to the Kentucky Derby, having won it in 1991 with Strike The Gold and in 1994 with Go For Gin. And last year Zito's charge Ice Box came close to winning the Derby, before finishing second to the super talented Super Saver.

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  • 2014/02/16 01:10:02 AM
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