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Zito Considers Champagne for Grand Arrival

Nick Zito was in a philosophical mood on Sunday, the morning after Richard C. Pell's Grand Arrival broke his maiden by 6 ½ lengths and was led into the winner's circle by exercise rider Raymond Bulgado, who suffered a fractured neck in a training accident just four days earlier.


"That's real life, and it's something where you put everything into perspective," said Zito. "I was bawling like everybody else [when Bulgado led Grand Arrival into the winner's circle], and then I kind of got my composure because I didn't want to lose the moment here. Obviously, God talks to you and says, 'Make sure we enjoy the moment.' That's a good moment, a special moment. So that was great."


It was the second career start for Grand Arrival, who showed early speed between horses, began his advance while racing on the outside on the far turn, led at the top of the stretch, and was driven home by Rosie Napravnik to a 6 ¼-length victory.


"It's always nice when a 2-year-old does what you think he's supposed to do," said Zito. "We just hope he goes forward. He came out of the race great, thank God."


In his lone previous start, Grand Arrival was third, beaten 10 ½ lengths by Grade 1 Hopeful entrant Big Sugar Soda.


"[Grand Arrival] had a little trouble," said Zito of the colt's debut. "He kind of jumped in the air, and [two horses] squeezed him a little bit. It was good experience, and the next time he ran to what everybody thought he would run to, which is always good because great expectations bring great disappointment."


Zito said he will consider the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods Champagne on October 5 at Belmont Park for Grand Arrival's next start.


"It looked like he'd go a distance of ground, which is great," said Zito. "We'll see what happens. We'll see how he develops."



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