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Nicholas Zito

Nick Zito
Nicholas Zito
Induction Year: 
2005

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Bio

   Nick Zito won his first Triple Crown race when Strike the Gold captured the Kentucky Derby in 1991. It was the beginning of an eventual career sweep of all three of the Triple Crown races for the Brooklyn-born trainer.

   Zito won his second Derby in 1994 with Go for Gin, and two years later he scored a victory in the Preakness Stakes with Louis Quatorze. Finally, after six second-place finishes, he won the first of his two Belmonts in 2004 when he saddled Birdstone to deny Smarty Jones the Triple Crown. Four years later, Zito won his second Belmont Stakes with Da’ Tara.

   Zito began his training career in 1972. Through August 2013, he had won 1,928 races with earnings of $105,163,071. In addition to his success in the Triple Crown races, Zito has scored multiple wins in some of the top races in the country, including the Champagne Stakes (4), Blue Grass Stakes (3), Wood Memorial (3), Brooklyn Handicap (2) and Pimlico Special (2). He has also won the Travers, Florida Derby, Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Kentucky Oaks.

   Zito has trained three Eclipse winners: Storm Song (1996 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly); Bird Town (2003 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly); and War Pass (2007 Champion 2-Year-Old Colt). He has won Breeders’ Cup races with Storm Song and War Pass, as well as the 2005 and 2008 editions of the Whitney Handicap with Commentator, who also won the Massachusetts Handicap in 2008.

   Other significant horses trained by Zito include Bellamy Road, Jackson Bend, Thirty Six Red, Albert the Great, Unbridled’s Song, Halory Hunter, The Cliff’s Edge and The Groom is Red.

   Nick Zito was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2005.   

Trainer