CZ Rocket Back to see more at Oaklawn Park

Missile CZ to be Oaklawn ParkWas the top senior male sprinter in the 2021 meeting ending in May, but the millionaire 2nd place winner returns to Hot Springs for the 2021-2022 season to try to claim a five-race streak lose. The first opportunity came in the December 18 sprint $120,000 grant that his relationships were using as a prep for the $150,000 King Cotton Stakes on January 29.

Owned by Altamira Racing Stables, Madaket Stables, Gary Barber and Tom Kagele, CZ Rocket took 2nd place last season at Oaklawn, ousting the defending men’s sprint champion Whitmore in Hot Springs Bets and Fleet Sprint (G3) Handicap. CZ Rocket has been undefeated since then, finishing seventh in the Qatar Racing Breeders Cup (G1) sprint. November 6 at Del Mar. He’s now receiving the diuretic Lasix for the first time since the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) in May in Saturday’s eight-sixth race.

“He needed it,” Kagele said on December 14. “I don’t think it’s a secret that he’s dropped in races where he doesn’t have Lasix, but he’s still running pretty well. We tested him. He was in the Breeders’ Cup and didn’t run great there. Coming out of that race, his blood had run out a bit, so he had a bit of an excuse there.”

Rene Amescua is the new coach of CZ Rocket after gelding’s previous coach, Peter Miller, announced last month that he would be taking a break from training for a period of time. Miller, who claimed CZ Rocket to Kagele for $40,000 in 2020, is still serving as an advisor to the owners. According to Kagele, Miller also owned part of the horse.

CZ Rocket, a 7-year-old son of Zip City , has an 11-4-4 record from 30 career starts and an income of $1,511,641.

Registration for


Amescua raced a lot in California and won more than 900 races during his career, according to Equibase.

Regular rider Florent Geroux is named to ride the CZ Rocket, the 5-2 favorite, from post 8.

Also enrolled as a class 2 winner Long Range Toddy and win the bet Mucho , who was most recently second, beat a head, in the $300,000 Bet On Sunshine Stakes on Nov. Churchill Downs.

Willis Horton Racing’s Long Range Toddy is 0 of 10 in 2020-21, but has earned more than $1 million in his career for coach Dallas Stewart. Mucho won the WSS Racing and 4 G Racing races after being claimed by coach John Ortiz for $80,000 at Churchill in November 2020.

King Cotton was Oaklawn’s first of three major races for older sprinters. The series continues with a $200,000 Whitmore (formerly Hot Springs) bet on March 19 and a $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) on April 16. CZ Rocket Back to see more at Oaklawn Park

John Verrall

John Verrall is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. John Verrall joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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