Wednesday, June 02, 2010


BELMONT STAKES FAVORITE ICE BOX AND FLY DOWN ARRIVE


ELMONT, N.Y. – Ice Box, the 3-1 morning line favorite for Saturday’s 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, and stablemate Fly Down, the third choice at 9-2, arrived at Belmont Park Wednesday afternoon after an uneventful van ride from Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The pair stepped off the van shortly after 3 p.m. and were given a thumbs-up by Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito.


“They shipped well,” said Zito. “They’ve been doing great up in Saratoga. It’s a great place to train horses.”

Zito said the two would likely gallop over the training track Thursday morning at 7 a.m.

At Wednesday’s post position draw, Ice Box, the Kentucky Derby runner-up and Grade 1 Florida Derby winner owned by Robert LaPenta, drew post position 6 while Grade 2 Dwyer winner Fly Down, owned by Richard C. Pell, drew post 5.

“They’re next to each other, 5, 6, so that’s good,” said Zito. “We’re closers, so I like being pretty close inside. The jockeys can see the way the race develops. It’s always good that way.”

Zito, who has saddled 22 Belmont Stakes starters – winning in 2004 with 36-1 Birdstone and 2008 with 38-1 Da’ Tara – finds himself in a different position this year.

“Obviously [with favorites], there’s more pressure, anxiety, on the other hand, if they run well, you have to be content,” said Zito. “I always like to steal Billy Turner’s line, ‘It’s pressure when you don’t have Seattle Slew.’”


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