Derby Contenders

Nick Zito

Zito saddled Kentucky Derby winners Strike the Gold in 1991 and Go For Gin in 1994 and trained Bird Town, who won the 2003 running of the Kentucky Oaks. He was inducted into the racing Hall of Fame in 2005. During that same year he saddled a record five starters for the Kentucky Derby, for five different owners. He has also won the Preakness with Louis Quatorze in 1996 and the Belmont twice with Birdstone in 2004, and Da’Tara in 2008.

Zito got his start in horse racing as a teenager hot walking and grooming horses for trainer Buddy Jacobson, a leading trainer in New York during the 1960s. He later moved on to assistant trainer to Hall of Famer LeRoy Jolley and John Campo. In 1972 he saddled his first winner and in 1981 he scored his first graded stakes victory in the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga with Mayanesian.

Zito has won over 150 stakes races in his career and has won four runnings of the Grade I Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Born February 6, 1948 in New York City, New York.