Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dial It Down on Dialed In

Last weekends Holly Bull featured a solid field of both 3yr old with great potential, and those who were already well accomplished from a successful juvenile season. Horses like Gourmet Dinner, Sweet Ducky, and Mucho Macho Man were figured to run big, however it was the Zito colt, Dialed In, with only a maiden win to his credit, that was the hype of the field.

The son of Mineshaft amazed many, in his maiden victory, after encountering a troubled trip but unleashing such an acceleration, that despite running greenly in the stretch, the colt still won easily. In the Holly Bull the blue blooded colt dropped as much as 15 lengths off the pace, a death sentence for most closers at Gulfstream Park. But after the half mile pole, Dialed in began to close that distance like a locomotive. By the top of the stretch he was no longer in last, but had catapulted him past half the field, and was only a few lengths off of the new leader Sweet Ducky. Despite not switching leads until deep in the stretch, despite the biased, and despite being only a second time start the colt pulled on even terms and then powered clear to win by 1 1/2 length.

All in all impressive does not properly describe what Dialed in was able to do. He will no doubt move way up on many derby lists, including this writers. However, to put this colt in the top three like many are about to do is a little premature. Yes, it does take a special colt to do what he did in the Holly Bull, which is why he should move up. But, with the likes of Uncle Mo, To Honor and Serve, Boys of Tascanova, and Tapizar still looking strong, you have to ask yourself would Dialed In have been able to run any of those horses down in there prime?

Boys was supposed to run in the Holly Bull, but because Rick Dutrow concluded he did not seem to be showing his normal spunk, he withdrew him. Boys at Toscanova at a mile over Gulfstream would've been even tougher to run down than Sweet Ducky. He was a finalist in last years Juvenile Championships, and though some may doubt him getting 1o furlongs, he had already show that a mile was well within his scope.

Dialed In put in a phenomenal effort last Sunday that should move him up on Kentucky Derby lists around the nation. However he has yet display that kick against the most elite of three year olds, which is why everyone should hold off on moving him ahead of the likes of some of the 3yr old yet to debut.


  1. Dialed In is "green".

    He'll have that "kick" by the time Springtime rolls around. If you're going to learn "the kick", there is no one better at teaching it than Zito. Or maybe the Rockettes.

  2. TKS

    I have no doubt he'll still have that kick, and we all know how Zito loves to knock off a favorite, lol. However this group of 3yr olds is looking very strong in contrast to recent years. Horses like Stay Thirsty, Tapizar, Uncle Mo and a few others have that same kick, but have also show tactical speed that may negate even a kick that is as powerful as Dialed In's.

  3. It's not only about the kick - it's who still got that kick in that last furlong of the Derby.

    Dialed In was very impressive. There seems to be an abundance of serious speed horses in 2011. That only enhances Dialed In's running style.

  4. Zenyatta John,

    If there is one common misconception about the Derby it is that a deep closer has the best chance to win. The horses that have the best chance are those who are stalkers/midpackers, because they allow themselves to stay closer to the pace, but far enough back to not get burned by the pace. There are speed horses this year, but most of them also are rateable. Uncle Mo can be rated and so can Boys and THS. If Dialed In can show some more tactical speed along with what he already has then he will be deserving of a top five ranking.

  5. I can understand your point, but in the case of this horse I'd have to disagree with you. Dialed In hasn't even figured it out yet and look what he's done already. He reminds me of Curlin in 2007, that enormous talent which hasn't been fully tapped yet. If Dialed In is this good now, imagine what he'll be like in a few months. Granted it's still a ways off from the Derby, but I'm very upbeat about this horse. And all you have to do is look at his pedigree to know he's the perfect classics distance horse.

    I'm still on To Honor and Serve's bandwagon with no intention of getting off; however, Dialed In is now my "co"-Derby horse. I concede though that in all fairness to the champ, Uncle Mo, he's earned the right--at least for now--to remain on top; but come May 7, Dialed In is going to be one tough son-of-a-gun to beat. I just hope if anybody does, it's To Honor and Serve.

    Let's just keep them all sound and healthy. That's the one thing I worry about.

  6. John,

    I understand your point, remember you are talking to a person who's favorite horse is the mighty Curlin :) I am not saying he is not the real deal. The thing with Curlin that Dialed In does not have is the tactical speed. If Dialed In can stay closer to the pace and run just as effectively then he will be deserving of a top spot.

  7. Funny how Dialed in can invoke Curlin. But there is the similarity of being green. I have always beieved that with a few good 2 year old races, Curlin would have won the Derby. He just wasn't ready, he was still developing. Same thing with Dialed In.

    If you watch his race in the Holy Bull, his late closse was fantastic, and LDP does a great job here describing it and why this horse should move way up everyones Derby list. The only negative for me is the Holy Bull being a mile race. Running for about another 24 seconds is an eterity in horse racing. Can he do it? Well lets see what he can do next out at 1m 1/16 or 1m 1/8.

    I will keep To Honor and Serve on Top of my list until he shows me shouldn't be there. But Dialed In comes a calling into my Derby top 10 for sure.

  8. I agree with Zenyatta John that with so much speed this year heading to the Derby that Dialed In's present running style will be well complimented. If he learns to run closer up and rate he'll be a monster!!

    I agree with you Dani, I would still rate Uncle Mo, To Honor and Serve, Tapizar, Boys At Tosconova and a few others above him right now. Uncle Mo is by far my number one until he gets knocked off by some other contender in a Derby prep.