Updated on 09/17/2011 9:07PM

This April it's good to be Zito

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High Fly wins the Florida Derby on Saturday, defeating stablemate Noble Causeway. High Fly won't race again until the Kentucky Derby.

You have to be pretty quick to keep up with trainer Nick Zito this spring. Fresh off his one-two finish on Saturday in the with High Fly and Noble Causeway at Gulfstream Park, Zito on Monday already was at Churchill Downs, where another of his top Kentucky Derby contenders, Sun King, had his penultimate workout for next week's Blue Grass Stakes.

All of Zito's leading 3-year-olds are now in Kentucky, though Andromeda's Hero and Bellamy Road are scheduled to leave the state for their final Derby preps. Regardless, Zito is holding a strong hand. And he could relax just a little after getting High Fly and Noble Causeway through what he hopes were their final Derby preps last weekend.

"They're both doing very good," Zito said Monday of High Fly and Noble Causeway, who shipped into Keeneland because Churchill Downs's stable area is temporarily excluding Florida-based horses because of the strangles situation. "I know it sounds corny, but the man upstairs took care of us. We had cool weather, and that helped. If it had been humid, that would have been tough."

High Fly missed a day of training last week when he spiked a temperature, but Zito got it under control and High Fly was able to perform at his best on Saturday. He received a Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

Zito said both High Fly and Noble Causeway would go straight to the May 7 Derby. Noble Causeway earned $190,000 on Saturday, which should be enough to get him into the Derby field if graded stakes earnings becomes an issue; it places him 13th among 3-year-olds pointing for the Derby. But if that number puts Noble Causeway on the bubble after Derby preps over the next two weekends, Zito left open the very slight possibility of running Noble Causeway in the Grade 2, $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes on April 23.

"I don't want to do it," Zito said. "I hope that's not the scenario. I think his best shot is to go straight to the Derby. He's had three mile-and-an-eighth races in a row."

Both High Fly and Noble Causeway would be coming into the Derby off a five-week break, which is going against the grain of Derby tradition.

"Our stable has always been blessed," Zito said. "Strike the Gold broke the Dosage. It can happen."

No one else from the Florida Derby is expected to move on to the Kentucky Derby.

The other significant 3-year-old race last Saturday was the WinStar Derby at Sunland Park, which was won by Thor's Echo, who got a Beyer Speed Figure of 92. He is expected to make his next start against fellow California-breds in the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park on April 24.

This Saturday, the most important Derby prep will be the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, in which Breeders' Cup winners Sweet Catomine and Wilko will face highly ranked 3-year-olds Don't Get Mad and Giacomo. The other major 3-year-old races on Saturday include the Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, and the Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne.

Don't Get Mad, Giacomo, and the filly Sweet Catomine all completed their serious training for the Santa Anita Derby with workouts on Sunday. At Hollywood Park, Don't Get Mad was timed in 1:01.40 for five furlongs, and Giacomo worked six furlongs in 1:14. Sweet Catomine worked five furlongs at Santa Anita in 59.20 seconds, which was the second-fastest of 52 at the distance.

Ron Ellis, who trains Don't Get Mad, said his colt began his work at the 5 1/2-furlong pole and finished a sixteenth of a mile past the wire for a six-furlong drill. He was in company with the allowance horse Power Boy, who was a workmate of Declan's Moon before he went to the sidelines. Tyler Baze was up.

"I had him in 1:14," Ellis said. "He could have gone in 1:10, but I didn't want to do that. He started off a couple of lengths behind Power Boy and finished a length in front. He came out of the work really good.

"He's been doing really well," Ellis added. "I think he's peaking at the right time."

Sweet Catomine, who will be facing males for the first time in the Santa Anita Derby, had Corey Nakatani aboard for her drill. "Everything is cool at the OK Corral," trainer Julio Canani said Monday morning. "She did just what I wanted, smiling and easy. I'm getting nervous now."

A large field is likely for the Santa Anita Derby, but one potential contender, Golden Shine, will pass the race. His trainer, David Hofmans, on Monday said Golden Shine had a bruise to his right front foot.

"He's not going to run," Hofmans said. "He's got a hot foot, and we have to watch it."

Hofmans said he hoped Golden Shine could recover in time to run in another Derby prep, such as the Lexington or the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass on April 16.

The Wood also should have a large field. Dominick Schettino, the trainer of Galloping Grocer, said he would remain in New York rather than ship to the Illinois Derby.

"He ran his best race here, in the Remsen," Schettino said Monday from Aqueduct.

Others expected for the Wood include Bellamy Road, Going Wild, Naughty New Yorker, and Gotham Stakes winner Survivalist, who worked five furlongs in 1:01.46 at Belmont Park on Monday.

Bellamy Road was training in Florida last month, and thus was not allowed to go straight to Aqueduct because, with the strangles situation, the New York Racing Association put a temporary hold on horses shipping from Florida. Bellamy Road got to Churchill before that track placed its hold on horses traveling from Florida. Zito expected Bellamy Road to receive clearance to travel to New York later this week.

The Illinois Derby is coming up very light. Leading contenders include Greeley's Galaxy, Kansas City Boy, and Magna Graduate.

In another Derby development, Sun King worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 at Churchill Downs.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen, Marcus Hersh, and Mike Welsch

Zito's Derby quintet

HORSELAST RACEBEYERNEXT RACE
Andromeda's Hero5th, Tampa Bay Derby89Arkansas Derby
Bellamy Road1st, GP allowance96Wood Memorial
High Fly1st, Florida Derby102Kentucky Derby
Noble Causeway2nd, Florida Derby100Kentucky Derby
Sun King1st, Tampa Bay Derby91Blue Grass