Regally-bred Zaikov shines in GP debut
Saturday, March 16, 2013

Zaikov cruises at Gulfstream Park
Zaikov, by Distorted Humor and out of Eclipse champion Wait a While, ran to his pedigree in his debut at Gulfstream Park Friday, winning by 14 ¼ lengths without being asked by jockey John Velazquez.

The 3-year-old colt, bred and owned by Arindel Farm, was clocked in 1:09.78 for the six furlongs while “easily” winning the seventh race, as described by the Equibase chartcaller. The 99 Beyer Speed Figure is one of the highest of the year for any 3-year-old, and earned the colt the “TDN Rising Star” designation.

Zaikov is the 18th TDN Rising Star by Distorted Humor, the most of any active sire. Zaikov's win put Distorted Humor over the $1 million mark in progeny earning for 2013

“We loved his mother. She was one of our all-time favorites. (Zaikov has) trained really well on the dirt, and (Wait a While) was good on all surfaces,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who trained Wait a While for Arindel. She was the 2006 3-year-old filly champion who earned more than $2 million and 10 graded stakes in her stellar career. “He acted like a really talented colt, and we’re glad to get him going.”

A gray or roan like his mother, Zaikov prepped for his debut on March 10 while working at Palm Meadows Training Center in company with Shanghai Bobby, the son of Harlan's Holiday who was the 2012 juvenile champion and  is slated to make his next start in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 30.

Zaikov is likely to stay on the main track for his next start, in an allowance race, said Pletcher.

“As long as he continues to run like that, he’s certainly not having any trouble with it,” said Pletcher.
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