SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Ice Box, who finished a troubled second to Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby, will get a chance to avenge that loss when the two meet again in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 1.
Trainer Nick Zito confirmed Tuesday that Ice Box would make his next start in the Haskell, while Fly Down, Zito's other top 3-year-old, would make his next start in the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 31.
"I feel that's the best way to go," Zito said Tuesday morning on the Saratoga backstretch. "Monmouth's track is playing [toward] closers, and Ice Box comes from behind. The turns are pretty sharp there, and Fly Down would be better off here; he's a longer horse, a bigger horse."
In the Derby, Ice Box was second-to-last for the first three-quarters of a mile before launching a strong rally around the turn. He was blocked twice and had to alter course from the quarter pole to the wire, before finishing second, 2 1/2 lengths behind Super Saver.
"A lot of people think he should have won it," Zito said of Ice Box.
Jose Lezcano will ride both horses. John Velazquez rode Fly Down in the Belmont.
Zito skipped the Preakness with Ice Box and ran him in the Belmont, where he finished ninth (but was moved to eighth with the disqualification of Uptowncharlybrown) as the 9-5 favorite. Zito said Ice Box displaced his palate in the race, which compromised his ability to breath.
Since the Belmont, Ice Box has had four half-mile workouts, including a breeze in 48.60 seconds Monday over the Oklahoma training track.
Fly Down, who finished second to Drosselmeyer in the Belmont Stakes after beating that same rival by six lengths in the Grade 2 Dwyer four weeks earlier, worked four furlongs in 48.50 seconds Monday at Saratoga.
Zito said he is leaving his options open regarding Miner's Reserve, who finished second, 2 1/4 lengths behind A Little Warm in a hot second-level allowance race at Delaware Park on June 29. One potential spot is the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 1.