After over 30 years in Thoroughbred racing, Nick Zito is a man who needs no introduction among track enthusiasts around the world. One of only 17 trainers in history to saddle two or more Kentucky Derby winners, Zito has earned the title “Racing Legend” through hard work, perseverance and dedication to the needs of his horses. He was elected to the Racing Hall of Fame in 2005.
Zito most recently won recognition for saddling a remarkable five horses for the 2005 Kentucky Derby. He also turned heads in the 2004 Belmont Stakes, when his Birdstone beat out Smarty Jones to take the coveted third jewel of the Triple Crown. But this New York native’s career includes enough highlights to fill a novel.
Zito’s racing roots run deep. His father exercised horses for trainer Max Hirsch and Zito himself started hot walking and grooming for trainer Buddy Jacobson as a teenager. He also worked for trainers Robert P. Lake, Johnny Campo and LeRoy Jolley. In December, 1972 he saddled his first winner, Palais.
But Zito’s concern for his charges goes far beyond the race track. The respected veteran always keeps an open mind about new methods and new ways to help his horses maintain optimum health during the grueling training and racing campaigns that make them winners.
“Some of it’s very simple. Horses do better when they feel good,” Zito said. “Attitude is a critical part of what it takes to be a winning race horse. Thoroughbred race horses face a lot of rigorous challenges, and their digestive health is critical… There’s no doubt it affects their performance.”
In the fall of 2004, Zito found himself working with a racing filly who exhibited a variety of problems. While at Keeneland, he decided to try using SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program.
“The first thing I noticed was the filly’s change in attitude,” Zito said. “What a difference it made. Her energy level and her haircoat began to improve almost immediately. By November I had every horse in my barn on SUCCEED.”
After these initial successes, Zito became more and more convinced of the product’s benefi ts for his horses. And in early 2005, he approached Freedom Health, LLC—the makers of SUCCEED—about the possibility of putting his legendary name and reputation behind the product.
“I was so impressed with SUCCEED that I contacted them,” Zito said.
“I’ve been in the racing industry for thirty years and I guess I’ve been asked to endorse almost every kind of horse-related product at one time or another,” Zito said. “I’ve never wanted to recommend anything until now. I believe in SUCCEED 100%. I’ve seen dramatic results in the six months I’ve used this product. My horses’ haircoats, appetites, and blood work are all great. If they feel better, they run better.”