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HRN Original Blog:
Race Talk with the Girl Next Door

Dialed In's Emotional Victory

As I watched a great weekend of racing, I was very fired up when I heard some comments made by a commentator on Saturday and was all ready to unleash the fury right here for all of you. I sat here at my computer ready to unleash, but all I can think about is the victory of Dialed In in the Florida Derby, so I will unleash next week.
 
I was stuck at work on Sunday when the horses came to the gate in the running of the Florida Derby so I did what any responsible adult would do; I hid in the bathroom with my android waiting for the results. I was checking all day and I knew that the track was not favoring any come from behind victories, but I still held on to the thought that my horse would win because I love this horse. I will tell you it was the longest 1 minute and 50 seconds of my life, but it all happened as I thought it would. Dialed In would be back off the pace and when Leparoux was ready, off they would go. I was excited to read the news, but nothing prepared me for the amount of emotion I would feel when I finally got home to watch the taped race.
 
I started watching the races from that day that I missed and race after race I watched the front runner finish first. I already knew Dialed In had won, but I didn’t realize how impressive that was until I watched the previous races. The fact that the track was playing for the speed horses was not good for Dialed In’s running style so the track bias was not in his favor. I was very impressed with his ability to win despite the track bias.
 
I paid close attention to Leparoux throughout the day, how he was riding and how he was feeling. He seemed to be doing very well that weekend, which I think, plays a big role in any big win like that. I know he is one of my favorites so you may think I am bias, but he won a few stakes over the weekend and it is what I have come to expect from him. So all systems were a go in the jockey department.
 
Then, the race, I watched from a different perspective, because I had already known that my horse had won…thank goodness or I may have had a slight heart attack when Dialed In gave the rest of the field packed full of promising three year olds a 14 length lead. I watched, but you never really saw Dialed In because he was too far off the pace. The race itself did not set up as I and many others thought it would have, but it ended just as I thought it was going to. I waited the whole race to see my horse make his move and finally, he did. I was ecstatic, despite knowing the outcome I was overwhelmed with what I saw. But then, the true story played out.
 
After crossing the finish line, the normally calm and collected jockey gave a fist pump and after the gallop out the cameras caught the jock celebrating with his horse. It is so fascinating to me to see a jockey who has numerous stakes wins be so impressed with what his horse had just done. Leparoux, normally very collected, was giving his horse the recognition he deserved. The celebration lasted for a couple seconds between the two and then the cameras went to trainer Nick Zito. The hall of fame trainer was just as excited and emotional. It not only showed in his voice, but in his actions and I believe his exact words as he gave HRTV’s Scott Hazelton a big kiss on the check was “…I’m emotional today, I haven’t been this emotional since Strike the Gold…it’s amazing and I am not ashamed of it…once in a while special horses come around.” Zito’s voice was cracking the whole time he talked about the horse and the race. It was incredible, so much emotion and I was emotional.
 
I know what others are saying, the time was too slow and the gallop out was bad and so on. Here is what I am going to say, they may be right…the time may be slow and the gallop out may have been bad, BUT I think maybe, just maybe Leparoux was letting the horse dictate the race. It appeared (to me) that he did not want the horse to overdo anything. Let Dialed In run his race and only do what he needs to, then after winning the race pull him up to not take too much out of the tank. I don’t really know either way, but that is what I am going to think was happening and on the first Saturday in May, my money will be on Dialed In. Period.
 
The incredible thing about this game is that you have ups and downs. You find the horse you love and then when they leave you, you have to find another to fill the void. It is not like baseball or football, your favorite team is usually always your favorite team. In horseracing, your favorites are your favorites forever, but they do not race forever so I feel like each year I have had to go out and find another horse that gets me emotional. I think I found one. 2009 gave me Rachel Alexandra and 2010 gave me Blame and now, in 2011 I have Dialed In. God Speed Baby!!!

 

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Older Comments about Dialed In's Emotional Victory...

He won my heart, too, Angie. His running style reminds me so much of Zenyatta, and the shadow roll plays into that image. I loved him from the minute he came from nowhere to win his maiden and the announcer said "How did Dialed In win?" And, I think he may have said prior to that, something like, "We may be watching a future star"....similar words were said about Zenyatta. But Dialed In is his own horse, with his own style and his own piece of history to claim, and I'll be right there cheering him home. I believe Nick...this horse is special and the fact that he's had to ride the Derby Trail in the shadow of Uncle Mo all the way, resting at somewhere between #2 and 5 or 6, has kept the pressure off, which I think is good. Everybody will be gunning for Uncle Mo. But, come the first Saturday in May, we just may get to see something really special happen, and D I could just take the dream all the way.
  • RaTalk_Girl · Great comments Ann Maree, nothing wrong with seeing the similarities between DI and Z. He is his own horse and I think he will make a name for himself this year and then some. · 1201 days ago
I love this horse too! I watch racing everyday of the week, and am constantly taking notes. The day that maiden at CD was run, i knew i'd be seeing this horse in the derby. He'll get all of my money on May7th when im at the derby to see it live
  • RaTalk_Girl · I am in the same boat as you, watch racing everyday and this horse is getting my bet. I expect great things from him at the Derby and throughout his career. · 1201 days ago
Angie, I think Dialed In is awesome, too. I've been impressed with him since his maiden victory. I honestly believe Dialed In has the talent to get it done at the Derby but my only concern is that he is a closer and we all know the stretch run of the Derby looks like a bomb has gone off with 20 horses. Will he be able to get through traffic and tiring horses in time to win? I don't know but I'm putting my money on him to do it!
  • RaTalk_Girl · Keep the faith, nobody knows what the next race will bring but this horse has not given me a reason to doubt his ability. He was great in his win and learned something in his defeat. · 1201 days ago
He was unable to beat allowance horses prior to his running down a horse that has won 2 races and went off at 60-1, special is correct, specially slow, they should run him in the Derby trial instead, will not win another grade 1 race in his career.
  • RaTalk_Girl · Dubby30, you always have such positive comments. LOL I don't know that we have seen any strong Derby contenders this year, but I still think he is the strongest. Which undefeated horse are you backing in the Derby this year??? · 1201 days ago
Love this horse more and more as the days go...maybe he will win, maybe he will not but I can still appreciate a great horse and I think he is great.
any responsible adult would be hiding in the bathroom waiting for the results ... thats great! LMAO
Stick with him Angie ... he may just get it done for you!

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Meet Angela D'Amico
My horseracing journey and my quest to learn more about it has brought me to the University of Louisville Equine Program, but it began before I was born. My parents met when their parents shared ownership in a few racehorses. Although they did not own any horses when I was growing up, my grandfather still took me to the racetrack all throughout my childhood. In 2007, my stepfather introduced me to different racetracks and handicapping techniques, but it was not until the 2009 Preakness that I was really hooked.
 
A filly, Rachel Alexandra, venturing into a man’s world caught my eye and I fell in love with her completely. This was when my life changed. When it comes to racing and choosing my favorite horses, I have always seen perfection in what others would characterize as flaws. With this blog, I hope to show everyone that horseracing is not just a gamble, it is a passion.