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Zito Hopes Sophomores Keep Improving

Absent from the Triple Crown this year, Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito is hoping to make some noise in the 3-year-old division beginning this weekend.


On Friday, he will send out the lightly raced Easter Gift, second by a neck to Le Bernardin in the Grade 3 Pegasus last time out, in the $100,000 Curlin. Saturday, he saddles Grade 2 Dwyer runner-up Fast Falcon in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, and Sunday he will have recent acquisition Fort Loudon in the Grade 2 Amsterdam.


“By the one horse running Friday, and Fast Falcon Saturday, it still gives us hope, and it’s very nice,” said Zito, who won the Kentucky Derby with Strike the Gold (1991) and Go for Gin (1994), the Preakness with Louis Quatorze (1996) and the Belmont with Birdstone (2004) and Da’ Tara (2008).


“You know, for the first time not being in the Triple Crown in a long time, and I always say this, I’m lucky and blessed,” he said. “When you miss a year or two, you’re supposed to. That’s just the business. I’ve been blessed, so I’m happy. I’m certainly happy to get back into this deal. Like I always say, God’s been good to me, and getting me back into the second half of the season would be great.”



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