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Dialed In To Have Surgery, Robert LaPenta & Nick Zito Taking Care Of Their Horses

It looks as though Dialed In, 3 year old winner of The Florida Derby and The Holy Bull Stakes, is scheduled to have surgery next week to repair a chip in his right knee. He will be out of training for a while but should be back in time for his 4 year old campaign. We certainly wish him the very best. Dialed In is owned by Robert LaPenta and trained by Nick Zito.

Robert LaPenta & Nick Zito are a team that, in my book, is the cream of the crop. They have been taking good care of horses and looking out for them for a long time. I am reminded about Little Cliff. The following is Little Cliff's story, as told by Ed DeRosa in The Thoroughbred Times.

Little Cliff, one of two horses owner Robert LaPenta named after the late turf writer and chartcaller Cliff Guilliams, was rescued from slaughter on March 11. Christy Sheidy, co-founder of Another Chance 4 Horses rescue in Bernville, Pennsylvania, discovered the five-year-old Gulch gelding in a direct-to-kill pen in New Holland, Pennsylvania. He had last raced in a $10,000 claiming race on March 1 at Philadelphia Park, finishing seventh of nine and earning $170 for owner LA Buzz Stable. Trainer Ramon Preciado had claimed the horse from Jimmy Moran Jr. for $10,000 on January 13.

Sheidy ran the gelding’s tattoo and had Diana Baker, formerly of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, pull a race record, which is when the connection to LaPenta and Racing Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito appeared. Zito’s wife, Kim, is involved in horse rescue efforts as well.

“Mr. LaPenta and Mr. Zito sent a very generous check to Christy that more than covered Little Cliff’s expenses,” Baker said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better or more generous response than what we received."

LaPenta purchased Little Cliff for $250,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale and bought him back on a bid of $350,000 at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton Calder sale of selected two-year-olds in training. Little Cliff finished sixth behind eventual Grade 1 winners and Central Kentucky stallions Political Force and Flashy Bull in his second career start before winning his next two races by a combined 6 1/4 lengths to close out his two-year-old season. At three, he finished third in both the Leonard Richards (G3) and Sir Barton Stakes. He won three of 27 starts and earned $202,762.

Although Little Cliff had changed owners four times throughout his life before being rescued, one thing that followed him from Kentucky to New York to Florida to Pennsylvania were his Jockey Club papers, papers that Kim Zito had affixed with a white sticker that says, “If this horse needs a home when he retires, please call.” “The tragic part of this story is that Little Cliff had this sticker on his papers, and that breaks my heart because it proves that there are people in this industry who don’t give a darn,” Kim Zito said.


The sport of thoroughbred horse racing has a far piece to go when it comes to horse welfare, particularly with regards to retired race horses however, thanks to good people like Robert LaPenta, Nick Zito and his wife Kim one day horses will never have to suffer the cruel fate of the slaughterhouse.

Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles...Dedicated To The Gypsy That Remains

share on: Share it! Tweet it! Stumble it! Digg it! Email it!  |  Permalink  |  Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles in Animal Welfare | 16 Comments
Reader Comments  (16)

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Wild Rags Place | June 28th 2011 at 1309310714

interesting and informative.
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles | June 28th 2011 at 1309311531

Thanks. I am always interested in animal welfare topics...
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alicesgiftshop | June 28th 2011 at 1309312819

What a wonderful story. The horses are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles | June 28th 2011 at 1309320612

You're more than welcome. Horses are one of the most beautiful creatures that God created...
vinewood | June 28th 2011 at 1309322483

super blog being a sports fan , i am always interested in news on all sports !!!
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles | June 28th 2011 at 1309326141

Thanks so much Wes!!
twysp2 | June 28th 2011 at 1309329116

Thank YOU for writting this interesting blog.
Fredrick Nijm
Fredrick Nijm | June 29th 2011 at 1309341593

Love our sports fan. The great thing about AddoBlogging is that you don't need to just blog about tips and tricks to selling, but rather anything your heart desires. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Donna's Stuff & More
Donna's Stuff & More | June 29th 2011 at 1309352020

I love stories about all kinds of animal rescue. There is so much need out there. Thanks for sharing this story about such a beautiful animal!
Pacesetter | June 29th 2011 at 1309359289

Oh what fun to read your excellent story on the race horses! You must be a professional writer!
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BeewitchingItems | June 29th 2011 at 1309378909

Wonderful story and I am glad that there are good people who do take these horses so they are not destroyed!
beachcats_bargains | June 29th 2011 at 1309410453

I love horses...intelligent, beautiful, strong animals. Thanks for sharing!!
Pink Hill Vintage
Pink Hill Vintage | June 30th 2011 at 1309439094

Great post Jackie, I have always loved horses and especially my grandmother. She used to ride when she was young. She has collected horse figurines too.
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Joyceb | June 30th 2011 at 1309462133

Thank you for an interesting post. Horses are special animals that can fill a lot of needs. My first horse was a plow horse named Tony that gave a displaced 10 year old city girl a lot of love and patience when it was most needed.
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles
Enchanted Jewelry & Collectibles | June 30th 2011 at 1309463929

Thanks everyone. I really do love all animals but horses have always been very special to me. I have never been fortunate enough to have a home with land large enough to actually own any but they are near and dear to my heart...
Linda Jordan
Linda Jordan | June 30th 2011 at 1309476840

Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing!

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