02/04/2011 4:55PM

Zito laments Doctor Peach disqualification


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Doctor Peach led throughout to register an apparent victory in Thursday’s $55,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park. Unfortunately for trainer Nick Zito, owner Joseph Moss, and the majority of fans who backed the red-hot son of Tiznow to 6-5, the stewards ultimately disqualified Doctor Peach for ducking out suddenly and impeding the unplaced Reservoir as the field passed the finish line for the first time in the 1 3/8-mile optional claiming race.

Zito said jockey Jose Lezcano felt Doctor Peach briefly lost his concentration and shied away from a large flower arrangement that sits adjacent to the inner rail right at the finish line.

“Naturally I’m disappointed, because I felt we ran the best horse and what happened really wasn’t the fault of either the horse or the rider,” said Zito early Thursday evening. “I also feel bad for my owner and all the people who bet on Doctor Peach today.”

Blues Street needs more time

One horse conspicuous by his absence here this weekend was Blues Street, who was expected to be one of the favorites in Saturday’s Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf following his game second-place finish behind Little Mike in the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale earlier in the meet. But trainer Todd Pletcher opted to pass the race to give Blues Street the opportunity to defend his title in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap on Feb. 19.

“His work on Monday was not what I was looking for and I just felt he needed more time,” said Pletcher. “The Gulfstream Park Handicap came up a good spot for a Grade 1 race, but the extra two weeks was the key to my decision to wait and go to the Fair Grounds instead.”

◗ Soaring Empire, winner of the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope on Jan. 5, worked five furlongs in :59.50 and galloped out three parts of a mile in 1:14 here on Friday. Soaring Empire will make his next start in Saturday’s Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Sprint Handicap.