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LaPenta and Zito have teamed up on three trips to the Kentucky Derby, but the closest they have come to the winner’s circle is a fifth place finish with The Cliff’s Edge in 2005. His horse, Ice Box, finished second in the 2010 Kentucky Derby. In 2007 LaPenta won the Eclipse Award for top two-year-old War Pass, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for that year. Upset the 2008 Belmont Stakes with Da’Tara, who won at odds of 36-1.
Introduced to horse racing by his mother, he entered racing in 1998 with basketball coach Rick Pitino and in 2001 started his own stable purchasing eight yearlings for $895,000 at sale. His horses run in the maroon and gold colors of his alma mater Iona College.
LaPenta and Zito have had considerable success purchasing yearlings and later selling them as two-year-olds. One notable one is Fusaichi Samurai, who LaPenta purchased for $270,000 and sold him at sale for $4.5 million.
Top runners campaigned: Andromeda’s Hero, Coal Play, The Cliff’s Edge, Cool Coal Man, Superfly, and C P West.
He is the current Chairman of the board, president, and CEO of Identity Solutions, a company that specializes in protecting personal identities and assets.
Resides in Westport, Connecticut.