C Z Rocket
OwnerTom Kagele, Madaket Stables, LLC & Gary Barber
BreederFarm III Enterprises LLC
CZ Rocket was quite a looker as a 2-year-old at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s sale in June 2016. Shoppers were so impressed with his good looks and on-track swiftness, that he brought the highest price of $800,000 at the auction. He did not make his career debut for more than a year, but he did so in style at Saratoga and soon added two more victories. Racing sparingly for the next two years, he won the 2018 Kelly’s Landing Stakes at Churchill Downs before going winless in his next 11 starts, although he did finish fourth in the 2018 Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga and in back-to-back runnings of the Ack Ack Stakes at Churchill in 2018 and 2019.
After beginning 2020 with two poor showings against allowance competition, his connections entered him for a $40,000 claiming price April 30 at Oaklawn Park where owner Tom Kagele and trainer Peter Miller claimed him from that fifth-place effort.
“Tom actually called me (about claiming him) and I said, ‘His form is bad right now, but he’s a runner.’” Miller said. “You could see he had run some really fast races. I like old class horses that have shown talent. If you can get them going in the right direction they can run back to past form.”
Elevated to the $50,000 and then the $62,500 claiming levels, CZ Rocket responded with victories in his first two starts for his new connections. He then won a Keeneland allowance race before winning both the Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) at Del Mar Aug. 29 and the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Sept. 26 to extend his win streak to five in a row.
“I’ve owned horses since 1999 and we were with (trainer) Mike Machowsky,” said Kagele, who has since sold percentages in CZ Rocket to Gary Barber and Madaket Stables. “This is unreal, we’re so happy. The Breeders’ Cup people contacted us after he won the Pat O’ Brien and they said we could come, so we’re bringing a party! This is so great, to see what he’s done with Pete. I was very lucky to be a part of Southern Image with Mike (Machowsky) and we won the Santa Anita Handicap (2004), and now to be in a position to run in our first Breeders’ Cup, wow!”
Miller has won five Breeders’ Cup races—the 2017 and 2018 Sprint with Roy H; 2017 and 2018 Turf Sprint with Stormy Liberal and 2019 Turf Sprint with Belvoir Bay (GB).
|December 21, 2019||Tenacious S.||FAIR GROUNDS||7|
|November 02, 2019||CHURCHILL DOWNS||2|
|September 28, 2019||Ack Ack S.||CHURCHILL DOWNS||3||4|
|September 13, 2019||CHURCHILL DOWNS||3|
|February 10, 2019||OAKLAWN PARK||6|
|November 22, 2018||Thanksgiving H.||FAIR GROUNDS||7|
|September 29, 2018||Ack Ack S.||CHURCHILL DOWNS||3||4|
|August 25, 2018||Forego S.||SARATOGA||1||4|
|June 30, 2018||Kelly's Landing Overnight S.||CHURCHILL DOWNS||1|
|June 01, 2018||CHURCHILL DOWNS||3|
- October 28, 2020
Authentic, Tiz the Law, Swiss Skydiver, Maximum Security, Improbable and Magical Lead 201 Horses Pre-Entered for 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships
Led by this year’s Triple Crown race winners Tiz the Law, Authentic and Swiss Skydiver; multiple Grade 1 winners Improbable and Maximum Security; and Irish Champion Stakes (G1) winner Magical (IRE), 201 horses, including 39 from overseas, have been pre-entered for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
- October 27, 2020
Sprint races on the dirt are a fixture of North American racing and a staple of daily racecards at racetracks across the United States, so it comes as no surprise that the very best dirt sprinters typically are bred and race here and that the Breeders' Cup Sprint regularly is a highlight of the World Championships.
- October 22, 2020
This is the eighth of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at Keeneland.