Dialed In At The Holy Bull
DIALED IN AT THE HOLY BULL
Things didn’t go exactly as trainer Nick Zito had planned for his top 3-year-old prospect Dialed In. But they turned out even better than he could have expected Sunday at Gulfstream Park after Dialed In rallied from far back to register an impressive 1 1/2-length victory over Sweet Ducky in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes.
Zito had hoped to start Dialed In’s 3-year-old campaign nine days earlier going 1 1/8 miles in a first-level allowance race, but a sloppy track prompted the two-time Kentucky Derby- winning trainer to scratch and await the one-mile Holy Bull. He made that decision even though Dialed In would be making only his second career start against a field of more experienced, stakes-tested rivals that included 2-1 favorite Mucho Macho Man and the Grade 3, Delta Jackpot winner Gourmet Dinner.
But Dialed In, a son of Mineshaft owned by Robert LaPenta, proved more than equal to the task. Even after dropping nearly 15 lengths off the pace during the opening quarter-mile of the Grade 3 Holy Bull. Dialed In began to improve his position under jockey Julien Leparoux while saving ground around the turn, angled out well wide while continuing his bid entering the stretch, then seemed to hit another gear once switching leads at the sixteenth pole, quickly overtaking the leaders to win going away.
Sweet Ducky raced well placed just off the early pace, moved four-wide to engage for command and turning into the stretch, forged to a short advantage near the eighth pole and continued on gamely to outlast Gourmet Dinner by a head for second. Mucho Macho Man disputed the rapid pace and remained in contention through late stretch before weakening near the end to finish fourth.
Black N Beauty, Leave of Absence, Printing Press, Major Gain, and Ribo Bobo completed the order of finish.
Dialed In ($7.40) picked up $240,000 in graded earnings for winning the Holy Bull, virtually assuring himself a spot in this year’s Kentucky Derby field. Final time for nine furlongs over a fast track was 1:35.19.
“What a horse!,” Zito exclaimed. “I’ve never had a horse do this. Break his maiden and then go into a stakes race like the Holy Bull and do what he did. To do something like that is very special.”
Zito said he plans to take things nice and slow as Dialed In proceeds along the Derby trail.
“I’m going to put this in proper perspective this time,” said Zito. “We came so close with Ice Box last year. Now that we know we’re going to get there this year we’ll just take a cool, calm approach before deciding what to do next. Hopefully there will be no bumps in the road..”
By winning the Holy Bull, Dialed In also became eligible for the Preakness 5.5 bonus which would award him a $5.5 million bonus if he can win the Grade 1 Florida Derby here on April 3 and then the Preakness on May 21.
by Mike Welsch
On the Florida worktab
Undefeated champion UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie) recorded his first official breeze since his 4 1/4-length conquest of the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1), strolling three furlongs in a leisurely :39 4/5 over a fast track at Palm Meadows on Sunday. The Todd Pletcher colt is expected to begin his road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) in the March 12 Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
Speaking to HRTV on Sunday afternoon, Pletcher admitted that the breeze was a "touch slower" than anticipated, but that he wanted to avoid doing too much in the colt's first work back, and that it was just good to get him going again.
Also returning to the worktab was Hopeful S. (G1) runner-up STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini), the fifth-place finisher in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, who zipped in a bullet :36 4/5. Pletcher told Daily Racing Form that the March 5 Gotham S. (G3) was his first objective.
Undefeated three-year-old BRETHREN (Distorted Humor), a half-brother to Kentucky Derby (G1) star Super Saver, traveled five panels in 1:02 1/5. The Pletcher pupil is on course to make his stakes debut in the February 12 Sam F. Davis S. (G3).
Multiple Grade 3 star RULE (Roman Ruler) drilled in a bullet 1:00 1/5, fastest of 23 moves at the five-eighths distance. A strong second in the Hal's Hope S. (G3) in his return from a 10-month layoff, the Pletcher charge is set for Saturday's Donn H. (G1).
Grade 1 winner CAPT. CANDYMAN CAN (Candy Ride [Arg]), unraced since finishing eighth in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), finished up in 1:01.
Grade 1-placed stakes scorer CITRUS KID (Lemon Drop Kid), most recently successful in an optional claimer, clocked 1:01 2/5.
Multiple Canadian stakes victor SENSATIONAL SLAM (Grand Slam), the penultimate finisher in the With Anticipation S. (G3) when last seen in September, breezed in 1:02 1/5.
LADY VI (Tale of the Cat), last seen breaking her maiden in the Lady Finger S. on Labor Day, exercised in 1:02 3/5.
Debut maiden romper TRAVELIN MAN (Trippi) sped four furlongs in :48 1/5.
Brazilian Group 3 and U.S. stakes winner JARDIM (Brz) (Ski Champ), a distant sixth in the Zia Park Distance Championship last time, negotiated six panels in 1:16 from the gate.
On a fast track at Gulfstream Park, Breeders' Cup Marathon (G3) hero ELDAAFER (A.P. Indy) toured a half-mile in :48 3/5 in preparation for his comeback in the Donn.
Donn contender GIANT OAK (Giant's Causeway), who earned his first Grade 1 victory when elevated to first in the November 26 Clark H. (G1), blitzed five furlongs in :59 3/5.
Chilean Horse of the Year BELLE WATLING (Chi) (Dushyantor) worked in 1:00 4/5 from the gate as she eyes a U.S. premiere for Patrick Biancone. The March 26 Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1) is her primary early-season goal.
French Group 1 veteran NEVER ON SUNDAY (Fr) (Sunday Break [Jpn]), exiting a third in an optional claimer, turned in the same time from the gate. The Biancone trainee is headed to Saturday's Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1), in which he was promoted to second last year.
Grade 3 queen C. S. SILK (Medaglia d'Oro), who just missed in the First Lady S. (G1) last fall but disappointed when 10th in the recent Marshua's River S. (G3), motored in 1:00 1/5.
PERSUADING (Broken Vow), who nearly pulled off a front-running upset in the Marshua's River, was caught in 1:02 3/5.
Multiple Grade 2 winner GONE ASTRAY (Dixie Union), a head second in the Frisk Me Now S. when last seen in November, strode a half-mile in :50 1/5.
Multiple stakes diva D'WILD RIDE (D'wildcat), fifth in the Sugar Swirl S. (G3), stopped the watch in :51.
Stakes victor NOTONTHESAMEPAGE (Catienus), sidelined since finishing seventh behind Quality Road in the 2009 Fountain of Youth S. (G2), posted his first work since that spring when sizzling three panels in a bullet :35 1/5.
Multiple Grade 2 hero GET STORMY (Stormy Atlantic), eighth in the Ft. Lauderdale S. (G3), drilled five furlongs in :59 3/5 on the firm turf.
LITTLE MIKE (Spanish Steps), a game winner of the Ft. Lauderdale, traveled in 1:00 2/5 for the Gulfstream Park Turf.
Miesque S. (G3) runner-up HOLIDAY FOR KITTEN (Kitten's Joy), sixth when dipping into the allowance ranks last time, earned the bullet by drilling in :59 on the lawn.
Grade 1-placed multiple stakes queen NEVER RETREAT (Smart Strike), third in the Marshua's River, breezed in 1:02 2/5.
Stakes scorer MISS BLAKELY (Smart Strike), the trailer in the My Charmer S. at Turfway, completed her move in 1:01 1/5.
COZY KITTEN (Kitten's Joy), shelved since his runner-up effort in the Bourbon S. (G3), covered six grassy panels in 1:13 2/5.
At Calder, streaking sophomore MANICERO (Mass Media) ripped three furlongs in a bullet :36 over the fast track. Victorious in the Pasco S., Inaugural S. and Jack Price Juvenile S. in his past three, the Leo Azpurua Jr. trainee will stretch out to two turns for the Sam F. Davis.
Multiple stakes star and classic-placed JACKSON BEND (Hear No Evil) took a half-mile spin in :50 3/5, recording his first move since finishing a distant fourth in the Ack Ack H. (G3) on Breeders' Cup Friday.
Multiple Grade 3 winner TWILIGHT METEOR (Smart Strike), last seen taking the Tropical Turf H. (G3), turned in the same time ahead of a likely tilt at the Gulfstream Park Turf.
Multiple stakes victress CHEROKEE QUEEN (Cherokee Run), exiting a fourth in the Marshua's River, went in :49 4/5.
COFFEE BOY (Yonaguska), last seen taking the Carry Back S. (G2) in July, exercised in :49 1/5.
Stakes winner LITTLE DRAMA (Burning Roma), fifth in the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion S. series last out, strode five panels in 1:04.
Multiple stakes vixen BLUE EYED SWEETIE (West Acre) zipped in a bullet 1:01 4/5 for her sophomore debut. She wrapped up last season with a third in the John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Multiple Grade 3-placed SCHOOLYARD DREAMS (Stephen Got Even), third in his comeback in a January 14 optional claimer, negotiated six furlongs in 1:15 over a fast track at Tampa Bay Downs.
Grade 3-placed stakes veteran CONCHACER (Congaree), successful in a recent allowance, stretched his legs in :49 1/5 for a half-mile.
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