Dialed In, who won the Florida Derby last month, drew Post 8 at Wednesday's draw. He is the early 4-1 favorite in the Run for the Roses. Nick Zito, a two-time Derby winner, is Dialed In's trainer, and Julien Leparoux will be the jockey.
LaPenta's horse, Ice Box, finished second in the Kentucky Derby last year. He also owned The Cliff's Edge, who finished fifth in 2005. LaPenta, 65, is chairman of the board, president and CEO of L-1 Identity Solutions, a Stamford-based provider of solutions that protect personal identities and assets. He became a horse owner as a partner with basketball coach Rick Pitno. He started his own stable in 2001. Zito has trained most of his horses.
"We've been a great team, and I try to leave him alone and let him do what he does best, but I call him da Vinci, Michelangelo," LaPenta said about Zito. "He knows how to pick unbelievably good horses and how to train them."
LaPenta has saddled four Derby entries, but he has had bad luck in almost all of them. The Cliff's Edge lost two shoes in a race run on a sloppy track. Ice Box also had a disastrous trip on a sloppy track.
He explained how he named Dialed In (Mineshaft—Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat) in a report on BloodHorse.com. "If you look at his early works, he just wanted to dig in and get to the finish line, so he was kind of dialed in," LaPenta said.
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