Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

PDF Download Past Performances
Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
May 1 2010 136th Kentucky Derby presented by YUM! Brands Churchill Downs I 1 1/4 2 REPLAY
Mar 20 2010 Florida Derby Gulfstream Park I 1 1/8 Mile 1 REPLAY
Mar 20 2010 Florida Derby Gulfstream Park I 1 1/8 Mile 1 REPLAY
Feb 20 2010 Fountain of Youth Gulfstream Park II 1 1/8 Mile 5 N/A


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.

Jose Lezcano


Jose attended the Laffit Pincay Jockey School in his native Panama before coming to the United States in 2003. He has been ranked among the leading riders in the nation for the past several years and has racked up leading rider titles at Monmouth Park, Meadowlands, Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park. He is the regular rider of Champion filly Royal Delta and Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve. He finished second in the Kentucky Derby aboard Ice Box . Jose won with his first Breeders Cup mount aboard Maram in the Breeders Cup Juvenile fillies Turf. Other top mounts include Deputy Glitters, Fly Down, Keertana and Winter Memories.

Robert LaPenta


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.

Denlea Park, Ltd.


Owned by Kurt and Kim Butenhoff.Denlea Park Farm is located in Hillsdale, New York on 300 acres. Kurt keeps a small string of broodmares there, as well as some at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky.Denlea Park earned its name from a baseball field that was built in 1934 by John M. Oden for the Village of Philmont during the Great Depression. Butenhoffs got started in horse racing eight years ago.Claimed Ice Box’s dam Spice Island for $40,000 and went on to win Grade II Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct in 2002.Thought so much of Spice Island, bought her dam for their broodmare string. Kurt works as an investment manager.Own percentages of stallions First Samurai and Eddington. Helped found Empire Stud in New York.Races some horses that fail to sell at sale.


Pulpit--Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat

Download Full Pedigree (PDF)

  • By the outstanding stallion Pulpit, the winner of the 1997 Blue Grass S. (G2) and Fountain of Youth S. (G2) and fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1)
  • Has sired top-class runners on dirt, turf and synthetic surfaces
  • Leading runners include Grade 1-winning milers Corinthian and Purge; 2008 Louisiana Derby (G2) hero Pyro, who later found his niche as a sprinter and captured the 2009 Forego S. (G1); turf stars Rutherienne and Stroll; Hopeful S. (G1) victor Sky Mesa and Wood Memorial S. (G1) winner Tapit, both emerging as prominent young sires themselves
  • Many of his best performers – though not all – have tended to find 1 1/8 miles to be their upper limit
  • Ice Box gets a significant stamina boost from his dam, turf marathoner Spice Island, who landed the 1 1/2-mile Long Island H. (G2) and Dowager S. on her way to earning $487,376
  • Spice Island is a daughter of Tabasco Cat, hero of the 1994 Preakness S. (G1) and Belmont S. (G1)
  • Other notable runners by Tabasco Cat include Acorn S. (G1) winner Island Sand, who also scored in the 1 1/4-mile Delaware H. (G2); Grade 1-winning sprinter Snow Ridge; and millionaire Freefourinternet, whose signature victory came in the 1 1/4-mile Hawthorne Gold Cup H. (G2)
  • Tabasco Cat's daughters have produced the likes of current Derby hopeful Jackson Bend; Desert Party, winner of the Sanford S. (G2) at two and a Group 3 in Dubai earlier this season; Californian S. (G2) and San Diego H. (G2) victor Informed; and Eldaafer, successful in the 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn H. (G2)
  • Ice Box's second dam, Crown of Sheba, has a pedigree fit for Derby royalty
  • Crown of Sheba is by Hall of Famer Alysheba, winner of the 1987 Derby and Preakness, and she is a half-sister to Horse of the Year Spend a Buck, the 1985 Derby romper
  • Ice Box's pedigree is exceptionally well-suited to 1 1/4 miles

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