03/01/2014 6:22PM

Gulfstream Park: Spot takes Swale in first start for Zito

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Barbara D. Livingston
Spot, ridden by Jose Lezcano, begins draw clear of heavy favorite No Nay Never to win the Swale.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -   Trainer Nick Zito didn’t have a top 3-year-old in his barn this winter. So he went out and bought Spot, who returned quick dividends for his new connections when he rallied  to an impressive 2 1/2-length victory over 2-5 favorite No Nay Never in Saturday’s $200,000 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The Grade 2 Swale lost some of its luster after trainer Todd Pletcher was forced to scratch Havana earlier in the day due to a quarter crack issue.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Spot made his first five career starts with trainer James DiVito, finishing fifth making his 3-year-old debut one month ago in the Grade 3 Hutcheson. Zito purchased Spot for owner Joseph Moss from the horse’s breeder, Curtis Green, shortly thereafter.

With Jose Lezcano aboard, Spot rated off the early pace set by Can’t Stop the Kid and attended by the odds-on No Nay Never,  who held a short advantage entering the stretch. Spot commenced his rally on the turn, continued widest into the stretch, readily overtook the favorite near the eighth pole, and pulled away despite finishing on his left lead.  Brothersofthetime rallied mildly to finish another 1 ¼ length farther back in third.

Spot, a son of Pulpit, completed seven furlongs in 1:22.44 and paid $21.

“I have to thank Mr. Moss, he’s an elderly gentleman who loves the sport and he’s just looking for horses like this,” said Zito. “He’s been trying for two years now, we went to a couple of sales. Nothing’s been working out, so you try this angle a little bit. I watched this horse run a month ago. I know Mr. Green very well. I just approached him, he’s a breeder, and he said ‘Why not?’ ”

Zito said he expected Spot to improve off his last start the way he had been training recently at Palm Meadows.

“I loved the way this horse worked the other day,” said Zito. “I knew Havana would keep the field size down. I figured our horse won’t be in trouble and maybe we’ll improve him.  You know I always do these things, we’re 20-1, 40-1, and we’re up the track. But today, I knew we had a shot, and it worked out perfectly.”

Zito said he has nothing in mind at the moment for Spot, who is nominated to the Triple Crown.

“Everybody will say Kentucky Derby, this and that,” said Zito. “I wish there was a mile race here but there’s not. You never know, a horse like this, if he keeps his composure. I’ll figure things out.”

                      

sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Absolutely irrelevant race this is year after year. Congrats.
m More than 1 year ago
wouldn't be irrelevant if you won it!!!!
Thomas Reynolds More than 1 year ago
the fractions were honest... this horse had plenty left against a 1:09 6F time though it is Gulfstream...hard to say what he will run like in traffic with other late speed ... not much to learn from this race other than he is a top 50 3 year old
Greg More than 1 year ago
Nice horse Wesley who has he beat?? No body! Best horse hes ever trained? Mud all over u Wesley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hmm, well he beat group 1 horses in France. He has been off since August and probably needed a race, which was not on a surface he has raced on before. He has earned over 400K. So, i count he is any more of a dog that just about any 3 year old in America who has failed coming off a long layoff. Oh yeah, just like everyones favorite struggling horse, Will take Charge, what a dog, in your comparison!
jaybern1 More than 1 year ago
No Nay Never (The Wild Rover) is a great song. Listen to it on YouTube.
d b More than 1 year ago
sprint juvenile turns out to be.... sprint juvenile coolmore boyz must b spitting feathers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You mean like Will take charge!
RICKY More than 1 year ago
Spot's interview after the race was funny. "What did you think was gonna happen when you put a sorry horse against the 'Spot'" " Dont you ever talk about me!"...M-E-D-I-O-C-R-E....lol
Five More than 1 year ago
I saw it all from my usual perch, on Twinspires account (track) video. No Nay Never is no monster and will never be, on dirt nor turf, on this side of the pond nor on the other side.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
I'm no huge fan of his but come on now, he's already a G1 winner overseas and that alone makes him a very nice animal. How many other U.S. based horses can you name that have won a G1 on turf overseas in the last 10 years? Now, he may not have progressed at age 3 but his surface is turf and I will not pass judgement until he gets a chance to run on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well he never raced on dirt, was off since August 2013 and still finished third after strong fractions. So he started his year just like other so called monster Will Take Charge.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
This wasn't a hard race at ALL and the horse is bred up and down to handle dirt. Don't make excuses. He is a Wesley Ward flunky. Ward pumps them up to win early and they disappear with the quickness.
m More than 1 year ago
WW said this was his favorite track!!?????
Scott Scheib More than 1 year ago
Just another example of an excellent ride by Lezcano timed perfectly and a fantastic training job by good ole Zito. These young horses are everything but consistent. NNN will be a very good horse through his career, but i love taking money from the 2/5 followers. No 2 year old is worth 2/5, i dont care who they are.
RICKY More than 1 year ago
Thats all right on Scott..but i think there 3 year olds. even then i wouldnt ever take 2/5 either..I learned my leason on Zenyatta..thanks alot mike smith..geeez
Scott Scheib More than 1 year ago
I am with you Brother! I do not think Lezcano gets enough betting respect as a top rider and i love it! I go to window a lot on these kind of rides by him. Fun time of year to watch and win Ricky
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Never been a fan of Lezcano but if he keeps bringing home 9-1 shots for me I'll be his biggest fan in no time. Can't believe that exacta paid nearly $50 as well. Love those overbet, vulnerable favorites!
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
And right on cue the guy with the high school crush on Lezcano shows up again to tell us all how great he is...smh. Do you work for him or something?
Scott Scheib More than 1 year ago
Your an idiot, stop with your overrated comments and you wont look like a fool. In the next 3 weeks he will be around the top 5 earners. just use your head and recognize his talent. i dont work or have a crush on him, but i have practically paid my house off betting against morons like you who think he is overrated.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Paid off a house??? LMFAO!!! You're f-ing pathetic and ridiculous. You post the same crap everytime, "Lezcano is great...why don't trainers realize it...wah wah wah"...we get it, you love Lezcano...change the record already or shut up you enormous tool.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Oh and BTW, no mention from u on how he butchered the ride on Mr. Speaker in the Palm Beach a race later huh? Explain how great that was.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
Although I didn't think No Nay Never's racing career was gonna be made on dirt, he still should've beaten this field easily. For those calling him overatted...chill...it's too early to tell..he might yet still be a Beast on the grass.
Mark More than 1 year ago
agani Zonda23 hours ago I truly believe that NNN is special horse. He broke from the Gate at Ascot last, and pulled Joel to the lead in which he never relinquished. He broke clean and first at Deauville and dragged Flores along for the ride. Both times using his high cruising speed to make the rest spit the bit. This horse could MAYBE be the USA version of Frankel. He certainly had a better 2 year old career then Frankel and his running style is eerly similar. Now can he replicate his 2 year old form at 3?....I sure as hell hope so. Before anyone jumps down my throat about the Frankel comparison...ju­st relax. I am not saying will have the same career, I am saying he has the potential, and abilities to be just the same. Reply 2 replies+1 JeanK12 hours ago Yes once I saw the animal at Gulfstream yesterday I am convinced this is ni ordinary horse....he is just magnificent and the whole world is his playground...i am sure he can win Derby at Churchill or Epsom.... he shall be well handled, but what a specimen NNN truly is...I mean triple WOW Reply 1 reply+1 Pagani Zonda7 hours ago Unless he wins by doble digit lengths in the Swale, I don't think Coolmore will try him in either Derby. A Mile seems to be in his wheel house, but yes, he truly is a specimen.
Mark More than 1 year ago
#drankthekoolaid
RICKY More than 1 year ago
Mediocre!