The connections of Dialed In had been trying to figure out the best prep race schedule for their three year old prospect, but when they took the ‘safe’ option of an optional claiming race at Gulfstream they certainly didn’t expect what transpired. Heavily favored Dialed In finished second to stablemate Equestrio in the 1 1/8 mile race.
The race didn’t shape up in a way that favored the strong closing Dialed In, with a tepid pace and a small field. Equestrio got the advantage in the stretch and for whatever reason Dialed In didn’t display the same nasty closing speed he has in other races. Dialed In entered the race second to Uncle Mo in a number of three year old rankings and the result left his connections scrambling to put a positive spin on things. Jockey Julian Leparoux suggested the race was a ‘learning experience’ that would yield benefits in the larger fields Dialed In will face on the Triple Crown trail:
“We got a trip, a good teaching trip, but there was no pace, unfortunately. It’s horse racing, he’s going to have horses next to him in the Derby, so he’s got to learn that. The horse on the outside made me be patient, that’s all. It was a good race. The first two races the half was :45 and :46. This race it was almost :50, so he’s going to be closer.”
Trainer Nick Zito deferred to his jockey and tried to sound unconcerned:
“[Leparoux] was happy. The horse that beat him isn’t a bad horse. It was two turns, they were older horses, and there was no speed in the race. I would have liked [Dialed In] to win, but I have to be happy.”
“He made the mile and an eighth. When [Equestrio] bolted at the end, [Dialed In] made another dash for the wire. You know the Florida Derby is going to have more speed. If he has a good month, we’ll still look at that.”
Dialed In’s connections decided to use the optional claiming event as a prep for the Florida Derby rather than ship the horse to another track. He went off as a 1-5 post time favorite.