Horse racing is all Nick Zito knows.

“Racing is different,” Zito said. “This game will humble kings.”

The hall-of-fame trainer started in the sport, as he jokes, when he still had black hair. Decades later, Zito has amassed 18 grade one stakes wins, including all three Triple Crown races.

“I’m very grateful to racing,” he said. “I’m very grateful to NYRA. I’m very grateful to all the racetracks around America.”

But after a legendary career as a trainer, Zito is ready for a change. With a new Saratoga racing season underway, he is moving over into the management side of the sport.

“That will consist of maybe buying some horses, doing some bloodstock work, putting them with different trainers besides myself,” said Zito, president of ZD Horse Racing & Management.

Zito sees himself as a player-coach in this new role. He launched ZD Horse Racing & Management this summer with businessman Robert DiPippo.

“What we’re trying to do is put this all together, bring in the investors, and have a winner,” said DiPippo, vice president of ZD Horse Racing & Management.

The pair developed this business after meeting at a restaurant in downtown Saratoga Springs a few years ago. DiPippo says the objective is to get some of the best horses in the game.

“Nick already has the brand. Let’s face it, everyone already knows who he is,” DiPippo said. “So now it’s my job to go out there and bring the investors in.”

While Zito may be in management now, he is still training a dozen horses this summer at Saratoga. But he sees this new venture as a way to keep him in the trenches of the sport, because at the end of the day, horse racing is all he knows.

“I think we can do something here,” Zito said.