Zivo closes fast to win Kings Point
By Sean Morris | 02/22/2014 03:51 PM ET
As is becoming the custom with Zivo, the 5-year-old horse uncoiled a nerve-wracking, last-to-first rally on Saturday to take the $100,000 Kings Point for New York-breds in a photo over longshots Sinistra and Beautyinthepulpit.
Taking up his usual position at the back of the pack, the late-running son of True Direction loped along behind the pacesetting Comandante, who led the field through splits of 24.88 seconds for a quarter-mile and 49.44 for a half. After six furlongs in 1:14.28, Zivo was caught in behind a wall of horses, forcing jockey Abel Castellano, Jr. to make a decision between ducking to the inside or going out even wider into the track. Castellano chose the latter and his mount did the rest - kicking in strongly to get up in the final jumps, despite being last at the eighth pole.
"I was concerned at the top of the stretch that I wouldn't be able to get out," said Castellano, "but when I did, I was confident in my horse. I talked with [trainer Chad Brown] and we were on the same page. In the last sixteenth, he gave me a great kick."
Owned by Thomas Coleman, the win, worth $60,000, marked Zivo's third straight and boosted his career bankroll to $350,100 through 11 starts. The bay horse completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.66 and returned $5.50 for a $2 win bet as the 8-5 second choice.
Finishing in second - a head behind Zivo in the scramble to the wire - was 29-1 longshot Sinistra, trained by Karl Grusmark. It was another length back to Beautyinthepulpit, who was pinched back in the late stages of the race, prompting a stewards' inquiry to determine if the winner or runner-up interfered with the 6-year-old son of Pulpit, but ultimately the stewards took no action.
Awesome Vision finished fourth and was followed home by Moneyinyour Pocket and favored Comandante, who dead-heated for fifth.