As we begin to spotlight names and faces in the racing world, we here at The Derby Post felt we should begin with one of the most recognizable personalities in the sport today, Nick Zito. Not only has Zito trained two Kentucky Derby winning horses, Strike the Gold (1991) and Go For Gin (1994), if everything goes right, he just stamped his derby ticket this past weekend with Holy Bull Stakes winner Dialed In.
A New York boy born and bred, Zito has been training horses since the early 1970s winning his first race in 1972. His popularity in Florida, Kentucky, and especially New York has made him a fan favorite in the world of horse racing. His enthusiasm is infectious and he brings excitement and professionalism to the sport of kings.
According to keenland.com, Zito began to garner national recognition with a horse by the name of Thirty Six Red. Bought for $92,000, Thirty Six Red won the 1990 Gotham Stakes and Wood Memorial Stakes. Later in the year, he ran 2nd in the Belmont Stakes and 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Three years later Mr. Zito would add a new line to his distinguished résumé: Kentucky Derby winning trainer.
- Inducted into Racing Hall of Fame in 2005
- Two-time winner of the Kentucky Derby
- Trained 1996 Preakness winner Louis Quatorze
- Two-time winner of the Belmont Stakes: Birdstone (2004) and Da’Tara (2008)
- Breeders’ Cup winners: Storm Song (Juvenile Fillies-1996) and War Pass (Juvenile-2007)
Nick Zito has helped redefine horse racing over the last thirty years. He is a consummate professional and his love of the sport makes him one of the most exciting people to watch from the stands. We wish him the best of luck this year on the trail to the derby and we will be keeping a close eye on Dialed In.