By MICHAEL COMPTON
Robert LaPenta’s Dialed In, winner of the Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park last year, is entered in a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The race marks his first start since finishing fourth behind Shackleford and Animal Kingdom in the Preakness Stakes (G1) last May.
“We started his season off in a one-turn mile last year in the Holy Bull and he won,” said trainer Nick Zito Wednesday afternoon. “He’ll be going two turns after this one. There are a lot of tough horses in this race. We’re just looking for a good effort to get him going again.”
A $475,000 Saratoga August yearling purchase by Mineshaft, Dialed In stamped himself as a leading contender for last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) winning the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park in only his second career start. He went on to win the Florida Derby (G1) in dramatic fashion over Shackleford in his fourth outing before finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby after trailing the field early on the First Saturday in May.
A notable difference from last year will be the presence of jockey Javier Castellano in the saddle to ride Dialed In after Julien Leparoux was aboard for all six of his previous starts. Leparoux is slated to ride Meistersinger for Team Valor International and Gary Barber for trainer H. Graham Motion.
The allowance race also has attracted Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Pants on Fire, who finished just behind Dialed In in ninth in last year’s Kentucky Derby. Paco Lopez will be in the irons for trainer Kelly Breen.