Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Zito Dials the Correct Number: Dialed In, Switch and Pomeroy’s Pistol

Posted by Brian Appleton on January 31, 2011

Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito may have been the topic of some skepticism and outright derision when he entered maiden winner Dialed In in the Holy Bull Stakes but after Sunday’s outcome he has emerged a genius.

Facing an experienced and far more accomplished field of runners in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes, 3-year-old colt Dialed In with jockey Julein Leparoux in the irons turned the race into a rout. Dropping well back of the field after the break, Dialed In was content to sit far off the pace set by Black N Beauty and Ribo Bibo. Rating just off the pace was Mucho Macho Man in perfect striking position while Sweet Ducky was moving well just behind. Coming off the turn Mucho Macho Man briefly took the lead before succumbing to the rally of Sweet and Ducky while from far back Dialed In came closing like an express train. Moving up on the rail Dialed In flew into the stretch and found the inside path blocked by the frontrunners. Leparoux guided him to the outside to make his bid as they charged down the homestretch and Dialed In Responded emphatically. Grinding his way forward inch by inch, it appeared he might just make it to the wire in front by a hair. With the finish looming close he suddenly switched gears and mowed down the remaining few frontrunners, bursting to the lead under a vigorous hand ride to win going away by 1 ½ lengths in a solid time of 1:35.19 for the one turn mile.

Sweet Ducky fought off Gourmet Dinner for second while Mucho Macho Man finished fourth.

With a performance like this Dialed In will certainly earn his way towards the top of many Derby lists and with the $240,000 in graded earnings he has pretty much assured himself a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.

Trainer Nick Zito was exuberant after the race saying, “He’s very special, I’ve never had a horse do this, go from a maiden special race to jump in and win a race like the Holy Bull.”

Now undefeated in just two starts, Dialed In finds himself with the most impressive Derby prep win of the year so far but there are still many questions left to answer. Chief among those questions is whether or not the gifted colt can win going two turns in a classic distance race.


Switch certainly didn’t leave any doubt as to who will be leading the filly and mare sprint ranks this year as the 4-year-old filly absolutely demolished her opposition in the Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita, winning her second consecutive Grade 1 race by more than 3 lengths Sunday.

Always in contention while sitting just off the pace, Switch glided up on the outside of horses navigating the turn and took the lead halfway around without the slightest encouragement from jockey Joel Rosario. Sweeping off the turn already a length clear of the field, Switch rolled down the stretch increasing her advantage with casual ease, needing only slight urging from Rosario until she was 3 ½ lengths clear and coasting under the line.

The 7 furlong Santa Monica marks her 5th win in 12 lifetime starts and Switch is now perfectly positioned to mount a powerful 2011 campaign. Trainer John Sadler stated after the race that he plans on running the talented filly 6 or 7 times this year.

Pomeroys Pistol took advantage of a swift front-running pace to post a wire to wire upset in the Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream Park Sunday, defeating highly touted Dancinginherdreams and Grade 1 winner R Heat Lightning.

In her first start since winning the Pocahontas Stakes in late October, Dancinginherdreams turned in an impressive performance in the Forward Gal after being handed the worst of it that left her just ¾ of a length short at the wire.

Falling far off the pace shortly after the break, Dancinginherdreams swept into the turn 6 or 7 wide and mounted a furious rally to catch the leaders. Charging hard down the grandstand side the striking gray filly steadily ate away at Pomeroys Pistol’s lead but fell short at the wire. It was a promising performance she turned in after only two lifetime starts and should sharpen her up nicely for a comeback in the Davona Dale Stakes on February 26th if that is her connections plan.

The winner was resolute in holding off the Grade 2 winning Dancininherdreams but appeared tired in the final strides to the wire. She started the year with a second place finish in the Old Hat Stakes (gr.3) over Gulfstreams strip and fully used that familiarity to her advantage, now some time will be given before a decision is made on whether to run in the Davona Dale or give her more time to recuperate.


3 Responses to “Zito Dials the Correct Number: Dialed In, Switch and Pomeroy’s Pistol”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brian Appleton, Brian Appleton. Brian Appleton said: Zito Dials the Correct Number: Dialed In, Switch and Pomeroy's Pistol: http://wp.me/pFvCN-h9 […]

  2. ZATT said

    Zito really seems to be gushing about this one. I look forward to seeing what his kick looks like around two-turns.

    • Yes, he certainly is very high on this colt and he doesn’t speak in “exuberant” terms often with his horses. Dialed In has plenty of stamina on both sides of his pedigree and I would expect his running style would do great around two turns.

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