Updated on 09/17/2011 8:56PM

Noble Causeway boosts his stock

Gary I Rothstein/EQUI-PHOTO
Noble Causeway wins a 1 1/8-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park by 3 1/4-lengths.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The depth of Nick Zito's 3-year-old class was on display again Saturday when he won a strong entry-level allowance race with Noble Causeway and a maiden race with Pinpoint.

Noble Causeway, a son of Giant's Causeway, probably earned himself a berth in the $1 million Florida Derby here April 2 with a 3 1/4-length victory in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race. It was his second straight victory here, both at 1 1/8 miles.

Noble Causeway is added to Zito's group of potent Kentucky Derby hopefuls, which includes Sun King, Andromeda's Hero, and High Fly.

Noble Causeway rated inside nicely under Pat Day, who guided him off the fence into the clear approaching the quarter pole. Straightening away in the stretch, Noble Causeway leveled off and ran by Reverberate approaching the eighth pole, and finished strongly. Noble Causeway covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.89 over a surface that was fast but dull.

Zito said he was a bit concerned that Noble Causeway could get stopped down on the inside.

"But I was very happy, because Pat Day was on the horse and he was conserving energy," Zito said. "When he exploded, I exploded myself, so I'm really happy.

"He's very good, got a lot of talent," Zito said. "Definitely a horse with a distance profile. That's why I got excited. I know it's early, but you've still got to think Florida Derby."

Earlier in the card, Zito won a seven-furlong maiden race with Pinpoint, who was last in his debut here last month. Zito added blinkers to Pinpoint's equipment, and that made the difference.

Dearest Mon scratches from Fountain of Youth

Trainer Rick Violette scratched Dearest Mon out of Saturday's Fountain of Youth, fearing his horse would be at a tremendous disadvantage breaking from an outside post. Dearest Mon drew post 10, but would have moved in one post with the earlier scratch of Kansas City Boy.

"I can't afford to waste a race," Violette said. "If I run just so-so because you get parked, I look stupid going to the Florida Derby, so I'm retreating. I'll probably run in an allowance race next Saturday, then go to the Florida Derby."

There is a second-level allowance race here next Saturday going one mile around one turn. Violette said the Tampa Bay Derby on March 19 is also a possibility.

Funny Cide has first breeze of year

Saturday was eventful for Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner of 2003.

In the morning, he worked three furlongs in 36.20 seconds, his first breeze of the year. Funny Cide is being pointed to the Ben Ali Handicap at Keeneland on April 28.

In the afternoon, Funny Cide was inducted into Gulfstream Park's Garden of Champions and was paraded down the stretch before an appreciative crowd.

Regarding the workout, Tagg said, "He seemed to go nicely. It was just what I wanted, just a month later than I wanted it to be."

Ellieonthemarch heads Monday feature

An outside post shouldn't make a difference for the Violette-trained Ellieonthemarch, who faces six rivals in Monday's feature, a $37,000 third-level allowance race at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Ellieonthemarch ran one of the best races of her career last October, winning an entry-level allowance race going 1 3/8 miles at Belmont. In her last start, Ellieonthemarch finished third in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race here.

"She is pretty long-winded," Violette said. "The tougher company she's in, the further she needs to go. She might be able to run with anybody going a mile and three-eighths or a mile and a half."

Violette said that if Ellieonthemarch runs well, she would be pointed to the Orchid Handicap here April 2.

Krasnaya, who was entered in Sunday's The Very One Handicap, may scratch to run in this spot. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Krasnaya would be dropping in company after competing in four consecutive stakes.

* Madcap Escapade, the Shirley Jones winner, worked four furlongs in 47 seconds Saturday at Gulfstream. Trainer Frank Brothers said Madcap Escapade's next start would come in either the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn on April 9 or the Grade 3, $200,000 Vinery Madison at Keeneland on April 13.