Nick Zito has experienced his share of success at Churchill Downs, fielding winners in Strike the Gold, Go for Gin, and Bird Town (Kentucky Oaks), but the veteran trainer may enjoy some more this afternoon with 2011 Kentucky Derby Favorite Dialed In. The latest Sports Betting Odds have the offspring of Mineshaft and Miss Doolittle listed at +275 odds to win today's race.
Dialed In lacks the racing experience that some of this afternoon's competitors possess, but few, if any, of this year's Derby entrants have anything on the colt in terms of results.
Dialed In needed just one race to break his maiden and since that victory he has gone on to record two first place finishes and one second place run.
The dark bay three year old captured first in both of his graded stakes outings, taking the top spot at the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes in January and the Grade 1 Florida Derby last month. Dialed In's run at Gulfstream Park was especially impressive as he topped fellow Derby horses Stay Thirsty, Soldat, and Shackleford to take home the lion's share of the $1,000,000 purse.
Not only does Dialed In have past performance and pedigree working in his favor; the colt also has the benefit of starting today's 137th Kentucky Derby from gate eight. Since 1990 four Derby winners have jumped from the eight post, including previous Zito trainee Go for Gin (1994).
Dialed In's racing style is similar to that of 2009 winner Mine That Bird, another victor who drew post No. 8. Dialed In typically runs off the pace before making a strong, late push.
Zito, jockey Julien Leparoux, and owner Robert LaPenta can only hope that approach succeeds again later today.
Dialed In 2011 Kentucky Derby Favorite:
To Win +275
To Finish in the Top Three +100