While Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom sits as favorite for winning the Preakness Stakes, Pimlico Race Course, MD, in what could be a bid for the first Triple Crown sweep in 33 years, second favorite Dialed In also has much to gain.
Dialed In, owned by Robert LaPenta and trained by Nick Zito, entered the Kentucky Derby as favorite but an unfavorable trip left him eighth past the wire. Not as bad as it seems, Dialed In finished strong and game. As winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and Florida Derby (G1) both held at Gulfstream Park, FL, if Dialed In can pull off a Preakness Stakes victory he will win $6.1 million in purse and bonus money.
The winner's share of the Preakness purse is $600,000. The bonus is courtesy of MI Developments' Preakness 5.5 Incentive Program. To collect the prize, MI Developments set a series of challenges for horses to complete at MI tracks throughout the country to combine with a win in the Preakness. Dialed In checked all the boxes for the series at Gulfstream Park and now he has to be first under the wire in the Preakness.
The bonus money is split $5 million to the winning owner and $500,000 to the winner's trainer. Despite the vast potential windfall, Zito is on the record as not feeling any extra pressure. This isn't his first dance at the Preakness, he won it in 1996 with Louis Quatorze.
"The race is first, the money is next. Is the money going to be a big factor if we win? Is it going to help a lot of things? Of course, it is," Zito said. "It'll help some good causes, too. Hey, we're all on record, including Mr. LaPenta. It's not like that money is just going to go in the bank. Of course, you don't get any interest anymore anyway. We're going to give it to the right people, I guess, if it happens." One of the charities potentially earmarked for a share is the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
When asked his opinion of bonuses, Zito said he thought they were good, as long as 50 percent of the bonus is donated to charity.
Here are some candid photos of Dialed In as he prepares to race: