05/29/2013 1:03PM

Churchill Downs: Agent Di Nozzo in fine form for Friday allowance

Coady Photography
Agent Di Nozzo, named for a television character on "NCIS," earned a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure last out.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Fans of the popular CBS television series “NCIS” now have a racehorse they can enjoy watching, too.

Agent Di Nozzo, a 4-year-old gelding, has won four of his last six starts and earned a career-high 101 Beyer Speed Figure in his most recent outing, a runner-up effort in an allowance race during Kentucky Derby Week at Churchill Downs.

Agent Tony DiNozzo, the TV character, is played by actor Michael Weatherly. Agent Di Nozzo, the horse, will be center stage Friday at Churchill when facing five other older horses in the seventh and richest of 10 races on a twilight program that starts at 2:45 p.m. Eastern.

Agent Di Nozzo, trained by Steve Margolis, races under the purple and green silks of Missouri-based owners Robert and Lawana Low. The horse is so named because Lawana Low is a big “NCIS” fan, Margolis said.

“The horse has really come around well,” Margolis said, citing Agent Di Nozzo’s two wins from as many starts over the winter at Delta Downs. “And his form transferred over here at Churchill. He’s coming into this real well, so we’re looking for another big race Friday.”

Agent Di Nozzo will break from post 5 under the meet’s leading jockey, Shaun Bridgmohan, in the Friday feature, a $61,000 classified allowance that goes at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

Perhaps the chief opposition for Agent Di Nozzo will be a pair of 5-year-olds breaking closest to the rail, Majestic Harbor (post 1, Corey Lanerie) and Taptowne (post 2, Calvin Borel).

Majestic Harbor had no mishap when he finished fifth at Lone Star Park in the Grade 3 Texas Mile, from which the winner, Master Rick, came back last Monday to win the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap. Prior to that, Majestic Harbor, trained by Paul McGee, ran three straight solid races at Fair Grounds.

Taptowne, like Agent Di Nozzo, can claim a triple-digit Beyer from his last race, having earned a 100 when third in the same April 30 allowance. Taptowne, a front-runner, is trained by Tim Glyshaw.

Rounding out the cast for the feature, which is set for 5:52 p.m., are Endorsement, Bim Bam, and Golden Gulch.

The Friday program coincides with what Churchill calls “The City’s Best Happy Hour,” featuring live music and food and drink specials. Every Friday for the rest of the meet is a twilight card. Night racing (6 p.m. first post) will be held on three straight Saturdays starting June 15.