Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 34
the more preferred front runners backing off Shackleford as the field
straightened out for the stretch run, it looked like the surprise early leader
might just be able to pull off a shocking win. That is before the best stretch
runner of the crop, Dialed In, uncorked a relentless rally from last to
overtake the 65-1 longshot in the shadow of the wire to win the $1 million Florida
Derby by an exciting nose.
For Dialed In, the grade 1 win was visually impressive. Dealing with a speed favoring racetrack, he was gaining on the leader the entire
stretch and reeled him in as if he and rider Julien Leparoux had things
measured perfectly to the inch. It’s a victory that should set him up well for the
Kentucky Derby in five weeks, as the promise of plenty of speed to run at will help
the confirmed closer.
Before we can
get too excited about the win though, the running time of 1:50.07 on the fast
Gulfstream Park strip was slower than expected, and the slowest in the Florida
Derby in seven years. After solid fractions of :23.30, :46.35, 1:10.63, 1:36.38,
it appears that all of the sophomore colts were struggling late, save the
Sent off as
the second choice in the field of eight, Dialed in returned $7.80 to his many
backers. The exacta with Shackleford, easily the highest price in the field,
returned a whopping $339.60. Too Honor and Serve, who stalked the early lead,
held on for 3rd, but lagged far behind the top pair at the wire.
highly regarded horses going in, saw their hopes for Kentucky Derby glory take
a major hit. Flashpoint looked the part of a sprinter, as he tried to rate
early, and then did no real running the last quarter mile and finished 4th.
Favorite Soldat was a little farther back than expected and never threatened,
while Stay Thirsty was far back all the way around.
Derby was Dialed In’s 3rd win in just four career races, so there is
plenty of room for further improvement. That improvement will be needed, as
strong as his stretch run looked today, he will need to be faster if he wants
to wear the roses on the First Saturday in May. One thing we do know is
two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Nick Zito, has believed in this son of
Mineshaft from the very beginning.
in a while, special horses come around, and he's a special horse. I haven't
been this emotional since Strike the Gold," said the happy trainer.
find out just how special Dialed In is soon enough.