01/03/2012 2:19PM

Gulfstream Park: Casual Trick impresses Zito in Gulfstream Park Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Casual Trick (left) battles Reveron in the stretch of the Gulfstream Park Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Nick Zito said he couldn’t have been happier with Casual Trick’s second-place finish behind Reveron in Sunday’s Gulfstream Park Derby, even though he came out on the short end of a half-length decision.

Casual Trick, a son of Bernardini, was making only his third career start in the 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Derby and first around two turns. Casual Trick prompted the pace under jockey John Velazquez, engaged Reveron on the final turn, but could not get past the leader through the stretch. The top pair separated themselves from the other nine members of the field, with Casual Trick checking home more than five lengths in front of third-place finisher King Kid.

“The winner got the jump on us, and we just couldn’t get by him,” Zito said. “But all things considered, I thought it was a great effort by our horse for just his third start and a good race to build on later this winter.”

Zito said he would like to get one more start around two turns for Casual Trick prior to his next major objective, the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 26.

“Obviously, we’re not going to turn him back for the Holy Bull, but it would be nice if they could put up either a first-level allowance race or an overnight stakes at a mile and one sixteenth that same weekend,” Zito said. “If not, I’ll just wait for the Fountain of Youth.”

Zito also reported that last year's Holy Bull and Florida Derby winner, Dialed In, continues to progress nicely since arriving locally last month. Dialed In had his second recorded workout at Palm Meadows on Monday, going three furlongs in a bullet 35.04 seconds.

“He’s doing well, we’re in no rush, but he’s ahead of schedule at the moment,” Zito said of Dialed In. “Like I’ve been saying all along, he’ll be ready to run at Gulfstream before the end of the meet.”