Trainer Nick Zito says Ice Box, the Kentucky Derby runner up who was the only horse making a serious run at Super Saver at the end of the Derby on Saturday, will skip the Preakness Stakes and possibly point toward the Belmont.
“After talking to Mr. [Bob] LaPenta we concurred that Ice Box’s race was tremendous, but we also knew it was a tough race,” Zito said in a statement released by Churchill Downs. “ We feel that we are better-suited to wait and pass the Preakness and possibly go on to the Belmont and, hopefully, things work out. Also, we have more evaluation to do with Jackson Bend and will make a decision on his status for the Preakness on Monday.”
As C-J racing writer Jennie Rees pointed out in her Derby review this morning, Ice Box passed 10 horses and made up 5 1/2 lengths on Super Saver in the final furlong.
He’ll loom as a major contender if he goes in the Belmont, especially with Zito’s record there. But someone else will have to do the dirty work of trying to stop Super Saver in the Preakness.