Nicholas P. Zito

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.

Nick Zito (NYRA)
Inducted

2005

Born

Feb. 6, 1948, New York City, New York

Career

1972-

Wins

2,056

Earnings

$111,926,596

Racing Record

12.78

Win %

Biography

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 sent out 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 2020, he had won 2,051 races with earnings of more than $111 million. 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, Blue Grass Stakes, Wood Memorial, Brooklyn Handicap, and Pimlico Special. He has also won the Travers, Florida Derby, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and 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 Albert the Great, Sun King, The Cliff's Edge, Wanderin Boy, Fly Down, Morning Line, Star Standard, Jackson Bend, Thirty Six Red, Sir Shackelton, Stephen Got Even, Anak Nakal, Ice Box, and Dialed In, among others. 

Achievements

Triple Crown Highlights

Won the 1991 Kentucky Derby — Strike the Gold
Won the 1994 Kentucky Derby — Go for Gin
Won the 1996 Preakness Stakes — Louis Quatorze
Won the 2004 Belmont Stakes — Birdstone
Won the 2008 Belmont Stakes — Da' Tara

Breeders' Cup Highlights

Won the 1996 Juvemile Fillies — Storm Song
Won the 2007 Juvenile — War Pass

Media

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