Rocket Man

January 15, 2023

C Z Rocket winning the 2021 Count Fleet at Oaklawn. (Coady Photography)

Oaklawn Barn Notes by Robert Yates

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.—Millionaire multiple Oaklawn stakes winner C Z Rocket could return to Oaklawn during the 2022-2023 meeting, the 9-year-old gelding’s trainer, Peter Miller, said Tuesday afternoon.

The Southern California-based C Z Rocket closed his 2022 campaign with runner-up finishes in the $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G2) Oct. 1 at Santa Anita and the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 5 at Keeneland. 

“He’s doing real good,” Miller said. “He’s back in training, galloping, and going to breeze. He could make an appearance there. We’ve got Dubai possibly in mind. We’re not sure, but we gave him a little break, five weeks or so, after the Breeders’ Cup.”

Miller claimed C Z Rocket for $40,000 out of a fifth-place finish in an April 30, 2020, sprint at Oaklawn. The gelding then ripped off five consecutive victories, including the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G2), before finishing second to eventual Eclipse Award winner Whitmore in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) in November 2020 at Keeneland.

C Z Rocket returned to Oaklawn in 2021 and toppled Whitmore in the $200,000 Hot Springs Stakes and the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3). Both races were for older horses at 6 furlongs.

C Z Rocket was beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Elite Power, then 4, in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint. A son of the late City Zip, C Z Rocket has a 12-6-5 record from 35 career starts and earnings of $1,952,641.

“If you don’t like him, you don’t like a horse,” Miller said. 

Oaklawn’s next sprint stake for older horses is the $150,000 King Cotton Jan. 28. Miller said he could have a candidate for the 6-furlong race in recent stable addition Radical Right, who was purchased for $260,000 at Fasig Tipton’s December Midlantic Mixed Sale. The First Samurai gelding finished second in the $100,000 City of Laurel Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters Nov. 26 at Laurel in his last start. 

Radical Right has four published workouts at San Luis Rey Training Center in Southern California since Dec. 24. Radical Right was purchased in December by Tom Kagele, who also co-owns C Z Rocket. 

“Seems like a nice horse,” Miller said.

Miller has around eight horses stabled at Oaklawn, including Ginobili, who was the 7-5 program favorite for Saturday’s $150,000 Fifth Season Stakes for older horses at 1 mile. 

@jonathanstettin with another winner for @AmWager customer as Creative Courage surges back to take GP6

Ian Meyers @ihmeyers View testimonials



Leave a Comment