Butzows Win John Deere Award For Breeders

Barry and Joni Butzow, who bred and race graded-stakes winning 'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings), are the recipients of the 2023 John Deere Award, which recognizes breeders who were represented in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships and the Breeders' Cup 'Win and You're In' Challenge series over the course of the year. The Deere Award winner was determined by a drawing among all breeders who either won a Breeders' Cup race or a Challenge series race. NTRA Advantage and John Deere will award the Butzows a John Deere Gator...

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Munnings's Zozos Leads Home 'Rising Star' 1-2-3 in 'WAYI' Ack Ack

Barry and Joni Butzow's homebred and 'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings) took them all the way for an overdue first graded stakes success in Saturday's GIII Ack Ack S., a 'Win and You're In' for the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. The 3-5 favorite set a pressured pace, albeit through very manageable early fractions of :23.69 and :47.10 going a one-turn mile beneath the Twin Spires. He let it out a notch as they straightened for home and held Justify (Scat Daddy)'s half-brother and 'Rising Star' Stage Raider (Pioneerof the...

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Alabama Rolls Strong Draw Amid This Weekend's Graded Stakes

"What's in a name?" Spurning Master Shakespeare and embracing anecdotal evidence, consider the tale of how Saratoga's Oklahoma Training Track got its name. Horsemen complained that the distance across Union Avenue to the main course was such a hike that it might as well be in Boomer Sooner land. Another piece from the past concerns the name of the Alabama S. Dating to 1872, the race was given that moniker after the Derby-winning owner William Cottrell of Mobile asked if it could be dubbed after his home state, instead of...

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T.C. Stevens, Son of Jockey Gary Stevens, To Ride First Race

T.C. Stevens, son of Hall of Fame Jockey Gary Stevens, will ride his first race as a professional jockey at Fair Grounds March 19 for trainer Steve Asmussen. T.C. has been named on Motown Missile (Mo Town) in the race six. A regular exercise rider for trainer Brad Cox, T.C. has morning rides on Instant Coffee (Bolt d'Oro), Hit Show (Candy Ride {Arg}), Zozos (Munnings), Strobe (Into Mischief), and Tapit's Conquest (Tapit). "I am very grateful to Mr. Asmussen and his staff for giving me this opportunity," stated Stevens. "I've...

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Some Derby Day Fact 'N Figs

You've all done the donkey work. Maybe you've resigned yourself to the skinny prices about Zandon (Upstart) and Epicenter (Not This Time) and there's a good chance you've debated--internally or otherwise--whether Mike Battaglia got it right from the perspective of the morning line. Or, you argue, 'It's a 20-horse field, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell I am betting one of the favorites when there is value to be found elsewhere.' Surely, you reason, there isn't much that separates the market leaders from horses like 'TDN Rising Star' Messier...

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Wednesday's Derby Report: Crown Pride & Taiba Works Highlight Busy Morning

LOUISVILLE, KY - Crown Pride (Jpn) (Reach the Crown {Jpn}) had Wednesday morning's 'Dawn at the Downs' crowd buzzing just three days out from the GI Kentucky Derby. With the G2 UAE Derby winner continuing to warm up with his popular dressage-like jogging routine in the chute on a very cool and overcast morning, Todd Pletcher's troops of Charge It (Tapit), Mo Donegal (Uncle Mo) and Pioneer of Medina (Pioneerof the Nile) were the first to hit the track for the special Derby/Oaks training period at 7:30 a.m. Owner Jerry...

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Busy Saturday Morning for Kentucky Derby and Oaks Workers

It was an action-packed Saturday morning at Churchill Downs for GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks workers. At 5:15 a.m., the Brad Cox-trained duo of GI Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife (Gun Runner) and GII Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby runner-up and 'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings) worked six furlongs together in 1:11.20 (1/4) and 1:11.40 (2/4), respectively. At 7:30 a.m., GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. winner Tawny Port (Pioneerof the Nile), with newly named jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr., worked five furlongs for Cox in 1:01.60 (30/57). "There's a lot of excitement leading...

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Friday's Kentucky Derby/Oaks Update

It was a busy Friday morning at Churchill Downs with 10 GI Kentucky Derby and GI Kentucky Oaks contenders logging their penultimate work prior to the first weekend in May. Half of those workers were from Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher's barn--Oaks contenders GII Gulfstream Park Oaks runner-up Goddess of Fire (Mineshaft) (five furlongs, 1:00.80); GI Central Bank Ashland S. winner Nest (Curlin) (four furlongs, :49.80); and unbeaten G3 UAE Oaks heroine Shahama (Munnings) (five furlongs, 1:00.80) and Derby contenders GI Curlin Florida Derby runner-up Charge It (Tapit) (five...

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Zozos Leads Derby, Oaks Workers at Churchill

'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings), most recently runner-up to Epicenter (Not This Time) in the GII Louisiana Derby Mar. 26, continued his preparations for the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby with a five-furlongs work that was timed in 1:00.20 Friday morning at Churchill Downs. Breezing in the company of his GI Longines Kentucky Oaks-bound stablemate Turnerloose (Nyquist), the Barry and Joni Butzow homebred was out at 5:30 a.m. and broke off about a length behind the GII Rachel Alexandra S. heroine before galloping along through fractions of :24 flat and...

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Zozos Tunes Up for KY Derby

'TDN Rising Star' Zozos (Munnings) returned to the work tab for the first time since his runner-up effort in the GII Louisiana Derby with a half-mile move in :48 flat (17/76) early Friday morning at Churchill Downs. With exercise rider Kelvin Perez in the saddle, Zozos clocked an opening quarter-mile of :25 and completed the final quarter in :23, galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.80, according to Churchill Downs clocker John Nichols. "It was a good first work back after the Louisiana Derby," trainer Brad Cox said. "He came out...

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Cyberknife Fine after Arkansas Derby Win

Gold Square LLC's Cyberknife (Gun Runner) exited his win in Saturday's GI Arkansas Derby in fine shape and is expected to ship to Louisville Tuesday to continue preparations for the May 7 GI Kentucky Derby. The colt, who was making his second stakes appearance after a sixth-place effort in the Jan. 22 GIII Lecomte S., continued a trend of frisky behavior Saturday at Oaklawn when dumping jockey Florent Geroux in the post parade. "I was too far away to do anything about it, but Florent was able to jump up...

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Munnings Colt Oh 'Zo' Good at Oaklawn

Sent off the 39-10 second choice behind even-money Barossa (Into Mischief), Barry and Joni Butzow's Zozos (Munnings) sat a tracking trip and shot clear from the market leader to become yet another 'TDN Rising Star' Friday at Oaklawn Park. Making his first start for Rodolphe Brisset, having previously been trained by Bob Baffert, Barossa--a latest distant third in the GII Los Alamitos Futurity--showed the most early interest, but Florent Geroux aboard Zozos would not allow that rival to steal away on an easy lead. Held right at Barossa's flank, Zozos...

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