Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito knows plenty about what it takes to win the Kentucky Derby, having claimed the race twice over the last 25 years.
This year, Zito is waiting to see if his Kentucky Derby contender, Frammento, will get into the 20-horse field for the 141st Run for the Roses on May 2. The 3-year-old is 23rd on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 20 points. The top 20 point earners that pass the entry box secure a spot in the gate for the $2 million, 1 1/4-mile race.
"Judging by all the calls I am getting from (jockey) agents, I think we are going to get in," Zito said.
Frammento was ridden in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 4 by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, but the rider is committed to Sunland Derby winner Firing Line for the Kentucky Derby, forcing Zito to search for a replacement.
Frammento had a four-furlong workout Thursday at Keeneland, covering the distance in 51.20 seconds under exercise rider Sophie Doyle.
"I just want to keep things easy," Zito said. "I put Sophie on him today because she reminds me a lot of Max (Maxine Correa), who works a lot of my horses.
"Juan (Bernardini) gets on him every morning and I just wanted to do a little something different today."
Frammento, owned by Mossarosa, was fourth behind Carpe Diem in the Blue Grass Stakes after finishing third in the Fountain of Youth in February.
"If, say, by next Saturday the 25th it doesn't look like he will make it, we will go straight to the Preakness (May 16) and then to the Belmont (June 6)," said Zito, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1991 with Strike the Gold and in 1994 with Go for Gin. "He is a true distance horse. After the Blue Grass, (jockey) Gary (Stevens) assured me this was a top horse,"