June 19, 2024

Zito pair looms large in nine-horse Florida Derby

Last updated: 3/30/05 2:24 PM


A pair of Nick Zito-trained three-year-olds, HIGH FLY (Atticus) and NOBLE
CAUSEWAY (Giant’s Causeway), highlight a field of nine entered for Saturday’s $1
million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park. High Fly, who is listed as the
8-5 favorite on the morning line, exits a victory in the Fountain of Youth S.
(G2) on March 5. Noble Causeway will make his stakes bow off a couple of impressive wins
over the track and is the 3-1 second choice. Jerry Bailey rides High Fly and
Edgar Prado has the mount on his stablemate.

Zito will be seeking his first Florida Derby win. He’s finished fourth or
better seven times.

Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up VICARAGE (Vicar) replaces stablemate Bandini (Fusaichi
Pegasus), who will miss the Florida Derby due to an undisclosed health issue. Dismissed at 21-1 in
the Louisiana Derby, Vicarage figures to
be in close attendance to the early pace under John Velazquez. Fountain of Youth
third-placer B. B. BEST (Yes It’s True) is the likely pacesetter. The Ed Plesa
Jr. trainee owns three stakes wins at Calder.

Another entrant of interest is PAPI CHULLO (Comeonmom), who is still a maiden,
but listed as the 8-1 co-fourth choice. The gray Florida-bred finished second in
the Sham S. two starts back and exits a troubled fourth in the Fountain of
Youth.

The complete field, from the rail with riders and morning-line odds, is Noble
Causeway; B.B. Best, Jorge Chavez, 8-1; PARK AVENUE BALL (Citidancer), Ramon
Dominguez, 15-1; High Fly; Vicarage, 6-1; MIGHTY MECKE (Mecke), Cornelio
Velasquez, 10-1; Papi Chullo, Robby Albarado; WALL STREET SCANDAL (Mt.
Livermore), Javier Castellano, 12-1; and EVIL MINISTER (Deputy Minister),
Clinton Potts, 20-1.