LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 6, 2023) – Barry and Joni Butzow’s homebred Zozos took the lead out of the gate and held off Kupuna by three-quarters of a length to win the second running of the $175,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes presented by L&N Federal Credit Union for 4-year-olds and up.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Zozos covered the mile on a fast main track in a stakes-record 1:34.42.
Zozos was fastest out of the gate in the field of 11 and put up fractions of :22.66 and :45.15 with Kneedeepinsnow and Kupuna applying only token pressure.
On the far turn, Kupuna ranged up alongside Zozos, but entering the stretch, Geroux cut the corner and re-established a clear advantage that he carred to the finish.
Zozos is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Munnings out of the Forestry mare Papa’s Forest. The victory was worth $90,500 and increased Zozos’ earnings to $412,900 with a record of 8-5-1-0.
Zozos returned $9.42, $4.94 and $3.84 to his backers. Kupuna, ridden by Rey Gutierrez, returned $6.86 and $4.94 and finished 4 ¾ lengths in front of defending race champion Three Technique, who paid $6.80 to show under Rafael Bejarano.
It was another 2 ¾ lengths back to Baby Yoda, who was followed in order by Kneedeepinsnow, Masqueparade, Promise Keeper, Noble Drama, Gulfstream Way, Caddo River and Surly Furious.
KNICKS GO QUOTES
Florent Geroux, jockey, Zozos, winner: “He broke sharp and went right to the lead. And, was able to hold off all the other horses. Pretty simple. Not much technique there.”
Brad Cox, trainer, Zozos, winner: “This has been one of the better races he has run. I was a little concerned about cutting him back in distance to the one turn mile. He’s a great horse but I did tell Florent (Geroux) before the race ‘break very aggressive with intent’ because there were a lot of horses that looked like they wanted to do the same thing. Fortunately he showed up and ran a great race.”