Kentucky Derby Profile: Zozos

Brad Cox has Louisiana Derby runner-up Zozos ready for the 2022 Kentucky Derby
Brad Cox has Louisiana Derby runner-up Zozos ready for the 2022 Kentucky Derby

A runner-up spot in the Louisiana Derby was enough to gain the 50 points required to enter the Kentucky Derby and Brad Cox and the connections of Zoros have done just that. Is it a wise call? JN Campbell has his say...

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Trainer Brad Cox’s seemingly-meteoric rise was anything but … Sure, he broke through a couple of years back with Monomoy Girl, but he honed his trade in the claiming ranks for a good bit of time, paying his dues as he went. It was an arduous journey, but the opportunity to compete (and win) at the highest levels of Thoroughbred racing is quite a prize.

Last year, he had a pair of Derby entries in Mandaloun (Juddmonte) and Essential Quality (Godolphin) that ended up 1st and 3rd after the DQ of Medina Spirit. This time around the Butzows have entrusted their talented colt by Munnings to Cox. The two-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner has brought this lightly-raced runner along carefully throughout the spring, choosing to wait until the new year to get him started. Quite in-fashion with our modern Derby Trail … Matching his age with 3 career races, the colt has progressed mightily since his debut in MSW Co. at the Fair Grounds, Cox’s southern winter base.

After winning on debut, he raised some eyebrows when he was shipped to Oaklawn. That strident move he made down the lane is still one of the most impressive moments during the Meet. Cox knew he was talented, but that performance got him thinking about the possibilities. Just in time, the next declaration was for the Louisiana Derby (G2) against Steve Asmussen’s top rated Epicenter. Here was the opportunity to not only pull off an upset, but also see what kind of tactical ability the colt possessed. From the jump, jockey Florent Geroux took it to the chalk, winning the break, and then some.

Controlling the tempo upfront, he tried to steal it, but by the top of the lane, it was clear that Epicenter was coming. Ending up with the “Place” was not a poor showing by any means, and it got him into the Derby. I like others, but much respect for this barn, and a future star like this son of Munnings. More to come, whatever happens on Saturday.

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Kentucky Derby 2022

Kentucky Derby 2022 Racecard

10
PP 10

Zandon

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Prat /
  • Trainer: C. Brown /
Morning Line Odds
3
PP 3

Epicenter

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Rosario /
  • Trainer: S. Asmussen /
Morning Line Odds
6
PP 6

Messier

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Velazquez /
  • Trainer: T. Yakteen /
Morning Line Odds
1
PP 1

Mo Donegal

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: I. Ortiz Jr. /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
15
PP 15

White Abarrio

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: T. Gaffalione /
  • Trainer: S. Joseph Jr. /
12
PP 12

Taiba

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: M. Smith /
  • Trainer: T. Yakteen /
8
PP 8

Charge It

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: L. Saez /
  • Trainer: T. Pletcher /
13
PP 13

Simplification

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: J. Ortiz /
  • Trainer: A. Sano /
7
PP 7

Crown Pride

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: C. Lemaire /
  • Trainer: K. Shintani /
16
PP 16

Cyberknife

  • Age: 3 /
  • Jockey: F. Geroux /
  • Trainer: B. Cox /
Show All Runners
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