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Kentucky Derby: Dialed In in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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DIALED IN (Mineshaft) / Nick Zito / Globeform 123p

Running against the track bias, Dialed In made up at least 15 lengths to get up for a narrow win in the 9-furlong Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in early April, beating Shackleford by a head in a thrilling finish. Another furlong and his winning margin would have been bigger. He shot right to the top of many an expert's Derby ranking that day, and he is the probable favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands (G1).

The top two passed the winning post almost seven lengths clear in the Florida Derby, as To Honor and Serve was well beaten in third. The further they went, the better the winner looked. The long home stretch at Churchill Downs will suit Dialed In and, given a solid pace, he will prove hard to beat. The Florida Derby was his third start of the year. His first, the Holy Bull Stakes (G3), soon became quite a key race and his off-the-pace win there was also visually impressive. Dialed In's following run, when beaten in an allowance race against older horses, was not so good but totally inconclusive as the pace was way too slow for him. It was an important learning curve though, as he raced around two turns for the first time. Then came that explosive win at Gulfstream it was simply an 'Arazi-like' performance - and Nick Zito's colt is likely to improve again.

The son of Mineshaft has a finishing kick second to none, and Dialed In really is an exciting prospect. He got up to beat Sweet Ducky and Gourmet Dinner by 1 lengths in the one-mile Holy Bull. Sweet Ducky's poor run in Dubai next time out may not be significant, and Gourmet Dinner's second to Soldat in the Fountain of Youth gives us a more meaningful line to the form. Many spotted Dialed In as a potential Derby winner already in the Holy Bull, and more were to join his fan club after the Florida Derby. He won his only race as a juvenile, a 6.5-furlong maiden here at Churchilll Downs, and thus goes 3-for-4 into the Kentucky Derby. If there is a Triple Crown winner in this year's crop, it probably is Dialed In, as he is virtually guaranteed to relish the 12-furlong trip of the Belmont. But let's not get too carried away quite yet, first there is that small matter of a race they call 'The Run for The Roses'.

Dialed In cost $475,000 at the Fasig Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sales in 2009. His sire Mineshaft was a champion older horse in North America in 2003, when he won four Grade Ones; the Pimlico Special, Suburban Handicap, Woodward Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup. Dialed In's dam, the Storm Cat daughter Miss Doolittle, won twice and finished third in the Schuylerville Stakes (G2) over 6 furlongs as a two-year-old. Out of the champion juvenile filly Eliza, Miss Doolitlle has also produced the Astoria Stakes (LR) winner Broadway Gold (Seeking the Gold). Eliza was top class at two and three, landing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in her first season and the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) the following year, when she was also placed second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Last update: 2011-04-28 11:10:19 (First published: 2011-04-28 10:57:44 )

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