Cooper Sawyer Talks Yearling Prep

Cozmic One in the yearling barn. Photo by Kyle Acebo

Cozmic One in the yearling barn. Photo by Kyle Acebo

Cooper Sawyer, Yearling Manager
Cooper Sawyer is the yearling manager at Lane’s End farm, and he is responsible for the daily care of all the yearlings. He came to Lane’s End in 2010 from Mill Ridge Farm, where he also served as yearling manager. Cooper has worked with yearlings since he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2005. Prior to that he worked with mares and foals.

Keepers vs. Sale Horses
Lane’s End does things a little differently than most other farms. They identify the yearlings as either “keepers” or “sale” horses. Keepers are horses that the owners have decided not to sell but to keep and race, such as Cozmic One. The two groups are separated in May, about two weeks after the Derby. That’s when they start to get “coltish” and play rough.

Behind the scenes

Cooper being interviewed in June.

The colts are turned out into individual paddocks, which keeps them from roughhousing. The sale colts are turned out at 7 pm to protect their coats from the sun so that they look their best in the sale ring. The keepers go out after their noon feed, about 2 pm.  This is also the main difference between the keepers and sale horses.  One of the things that separates Lane’s End from other farms is that they do give the keepers this experience and that they turn out our sale horses at all. Many farms like to keep their horses in all the time.

The prep process is the foundation and education that makes the transition from yearling to 2 year-old to racehorse a little easier, and it begins in May. The yearlings are broke to tack (surcingle and draw cords) and the walking machine. The walker helps get the horses fit. Putting them in a tight space gets them used to going in the starting gate. They are also broke to a hose, as they receive daily baths and rubdowns. For Coz, this whole process will help him when he goes to the Mayberry’s in Flordia. They will put a saddle on him, put him in the starting gate and will help him become a better mover.

Coz and others entering the walking machine.

Coz and others entering the walking machine.

Coz gets a bath.

Coz gets a bath.

Cozmic One, August 2013. Photo by Alys Emson

Cozmic One, August 2013. Photo by Alys Emson


    1. KathyR. Subzero is a fine looking horse. A series of gray horse races is a great idea. Hope that Subzero is well now. He’s a hard worker.

      1. Dear Max:

        Maybe Voila Ici will have to take lessons with Subzero. Cheers, KathyR.

        PS: Bruce the campaign manager is now able to return to his day job – the election has been run and won Downunder (Bruce failed as a manager)

  1. Dear Mama Z, Beautiful COZ, Beautiful Red Prince and Beautiful Baby Z:

    Goodnight. Sweet Dreams. Love all of you so much. Hugs, JB

  2. Dear Max I wish Wise Dan all the best for Sunday’s race, suppose it is much easier for him to visit Canada than the UK, would still love him to come here, just once!!!Have you seen Moosie’s tweets today commenting on Kauto’s outing all that standing lark!!Someone asked him when was he back not running and his reply “when I’m fit enough not to run”LOL My kind of racehorse!!! double neigh Sheena

    1. Sheena. It’s also easier for Morton Fink to fly into Toronto from Chicago. It’s practically next door. Woodbine has the biggest turf course in North America. Huge. Uncle Johnny rode Leroidesanimaux to victory there too.
      Saw Moosie’s remarks. He’s the best. Waiting for his DVD. Imagine, the UK has 3 famous tweeting and blogging horses, Moose, Kauto and Hovis. Triple neigh!

      1. Dear Max and Z Fans:

        Already told Sheena and other Z’sters involved in Hudson Township’s rescue this news in e-mails.

        Got an voice mail late yesterday from Angela. As you know HT can be a handful to manage. Kristy, who was working with her and bonded well, did not continue and Katie, who left for Cazenovia College in late August (she’s in the same dorm building as Pati) really worked wonders with HT. If you remember, the first time Katie rode HT, HT bucked her off. But Katie, through persistence and patience, got HT to follow her like a puppy without a lead rope and allowed her to ride bareback. It was really something to see. Well, since Angela is unable to give HT the one on one attention and training that she needs, HT is becoming again very unmanageable. Angela has decided to send her to a family owned farm that she knows of in Connecticut. I am sad to see her go and I know that Katie will be heartbroken because she loves her too and had planned to work with her on school breaks. But HT really needs a loving, constant commitment from someone who will be patient and kind and can gain her trust. I know it can happen with the right person because she was so good with Katie.

        Now Gigi is in Massachusetts and HT will be in Connecticut. They will always be my Sweeties and I will miss them. Here is one of my favorite photos I took of HT in a Fly Cap that Katie put on her. Love and Hugs, JB

        1. JudyB. I am sorry to hear this because I know how much you loved those two horses. The photo is good. HT looks very fashionable in that red fly cap. No horse can ever replace another, but I’m hoping that some nice new horsey friends come into your life soon.

        2. Dear Max:

          Thank you. Hugs, JB

        3. Dear Judy B.,
          Sorry that Hudson Township will be leaving, and my heart goes out to Katie, too. Wishing HT all the very best in her new home. Sure hope she finds another kindred spirit with whom to bond, bless her(and Gigi, too).
          Lots of love and Hugs to you AND your Sweeties – ALL of them!

        4. I am praying so hard for them that they get really good loving homes.

        5. Oh, Judy, thank you for the update. I am so sorry your girls are leaving, but I know you want only the best future long-term for them. Here’s one thought. If HT can be ridden bareback but bucks with a saddle, maybe the saddle doesn’t fit her right.
          Thank you for the picture. I’m clueless–what is a fly cap, as opposed to a fly mask? Hugs.

        6. JB,
          Will pray for HT. Hoping she enjoys her new home and continues to amaze us! She is a beauty and so intelligent.

  3. Dear Judy So sorry to hear HT has left Angela’s .Hope she will have the one-to -one attention she obviously needs. It’s hard for you, because you have grown so fond of the girls.As Max said , there will be other horses for you to love.Goodnight God bless You, Lola Mae, Charlie and the Sweeties. Love and hugs SheenaX

    1. Dear Sheena:

      Thank you. Love and Hugs, JB

      1. Dear Peggy:

        Thank you. Love and Hugs, JB

    2. Sheena. Look who is posing for his DVD cover photo?

  4. Hay List update (courtesy of Skysportsradio):

    Sean Cosgrove and John McNair have just discussed Hay List. The dear old fellow pulled up well from Saturday (he was unplaced), but John thinks the run did him the world of good. It looks like he will travel to Melbourne for as yet undetermined races down there. Pleased he is a happy bloke! Cheers, KathyR.

    1. Dear Kathy R:

      Thanks for this update on Hay List. Glad he came out of the race in good shape. Hugs, JB

  5. She is back! GD wins …new track record too!

    1. Fantastic!!! Congrats to GD!!

  6. Yahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Way to Go Groupie Doll.
    What a beautiful Girl you are.
    Love Ya.

    I know Brass Hat is very proud of you too.

    1. Congrats to Groupie Doll. Hugs, JB

  7. Have been without my usual internet access for a few days and am just checking in quickly. Very glad to hear from Marty R – you are in our thoughts and prayers. Ingrid A -so sorry to hear about your mother’s death. This is never easy but even more difficult when something unexpected like this strikes so quickly. Sincere condolences to you. Sending good thoughts and wishes to Vamp – if anyone sees this and can text her, please add my regards. More later when I am back in usual communication.

    PS – Congrats to Judy B for getting “on the board” in the cappin’ contest :-) That was a great choice – had to take the “easy” bet myself this time.

    1. Dear Sandy:

      Thanks. I finally got some points for the team. Love and Hugs, JB

  8. My dearest Z friends,

    I have no words to thank you for your prayers and your support, in this heart breaking moment that I am going thru.

    Without you, I know my pain will be uncontrollable. I see how many of you loss your beloved mother not long ago. Moreover, all of you keep going on living and that give me some hope. Maybe I will be able to survive!

    Love you all, hugs Ingrid.

    1. Ingrid-Everyone who pots here feel nothing but empathy for you. Things will get better day by day. Bless you and keep posting. We enjoy your company.

  9. Hi Everyone!
    My husband and I went over to see Mine That Bird last Thursday. We live about 130 miles from Buena Suerte Equine Center. Dr. Blach was so gracious to take us over to spend time with him and his paddock buddy, little Winston. ‘Bird’ is grand! He really was wonderful to see. Of course we took lots of mints, which he loved. He is in great shape and so full of life and energy! It was such a special treat, and will always be a favorite memory for us. Winston is so cute!. When I get a chance in about a week or so, and can figure out how to post a few pics on Zenny’s website (forum or wherever photos are supposed to go), I’ll put on note to let you all know. Dr. Blach is such a kind man, and Bird just loves him!
    The movie, 50-1, is due out in the Spring I think. If I find out more about that too, I’ll let you know.
    We’ve been gone quite a bit the past few months, and it’s great to catch up on everyone’s news today. So sorry about some of the hard times some of you have had with family and some of your horse families as well.
    Been keeping Zenny and her ‘babies’, as well as you all in my prayers.
    With love,

    1. So happy to hear Mine That Bird is doing well. Thank you for posting.

    2. You are SO lucky. I would love to meet Mine That Bird. I am so taken with his story. Thanks for reporting on him and how happy he is.

  10. Another one to look for at Santa Anita!
    On Sept. 8 Justin Zayat @JustinZayat tweeted
    Paynter is in the air on his way back to Santa Anita today!
    Getting ready for awesome again stakes!
    @jazz3162 @AshleyZayat8 #poweruppaynter

    1. BGG, Darn it. Muchie is going in the Awesome Again also.

  11. BRAVA, GROUPIE DOLL! And a track record to boot. Look forward to seeing you at the Breeders’ Cup.

      1. Great Race. So Happy for her and her connections.

  12. After watching some videos of the Keeneland yearling sales……I’m so happy we don’t have to worry about that with Zenny’s babies. The top selling filly is headed to Europe. Thank you Ann and Jerry for keeping your precious babies

  13. Dear Marshall:

    Thank you for your kind concern for HT and Gigi. I feel Gigi is settled in a happy home and now I’m praying for the same for HT. She needs the one on one attention and love of the right person and I know she will be fine. Hoping this new home will be her forever one.

    I love both of these girls and I will miss them. Love and Hugs, JB

  14. Dear Elizabeth in NM – Thank you so much for your update on MTB. Dr. Blach is one of the nicest gents one would ever have the pleasure of meeting. I have wonderful memories of meeting MTB at his home and the New Mexico Mine that Bird Day at Ruidoso Downs in September 2009. He couldn’t get over the two “gals” that drove all the way from San Diego to visit!! We were thrilled when he gave us Mine that Bird baseball caps. Your description of the Birdy brought back some great memories. Look forward to any pictures you can post.

    Yeah for Groupie Doll. Can’t wait to see you at Santa Anita.
    Everyone have a great week.

    1. Hi Delrene,
      Love your note about Bird and Dr. Blach! We used to live in Carlsbad (in the early 80’s. Love California! We probably won’t get back out there until the summer or the following one, when we do, I’ll look you up and maybe we can all meet at Santa Anita. What fun! We live in NM up in the mountains now overlooking the high desert and the mountains to the west of us. It is so beautiful here too. God’s blessings,

  15. @Ingrid–one day at a time, sweet friend. Big hugs.

  16. From Backside 55’s Facebook page.
    “Life Is Sweet and her foal turned out with Zenyatta – looks like the baby is getting some coaching from Z! If you followed John and Zenyatta during her racing career, you might have known that Z and LIS were great friends and pretty attached to one another. So great to see them out in the paddock together!”

    1. Amanda: Thank you so much for the photo of Zenyatta and her best friend Life is Sweet.

      I remember that John said the year Zenyatta won the BC Classic, Life is Sweet was entered in a BC race the day before the Classic. Rather than return Life is Sweet to Hollywood Park after her race, he kept her there with Zenyatta to help Zenyatta feel comfortable, relaxed and at home with her best friend to keep her company.

      Perhaps Lane’s End is preparing the two mares for the time when their youngsters will be weaned, and they will have each other for support.

      Any news on Ebby? I can’t find any online news except that she worked on Sept. 4 at Saratoga.

    2. I could spot Zenny’s backside anywhere. Talk about “junk in the trunk”…she had an engine for acceleration like no other!

  17. Check out the brand new post under the “News” blog. Weaning has occurred and Zenny is indeed back with her BFF, Life is Sweet. Rosemary, you must have ESP!

  18. New Blog posted on Sept. 10th.
    Thanks Randy for the alert.

  19. Great informative post! I loved the video. Coz is growing up into a very striking young man! What a beauty. I’ve been waiting for a conformation shot! He looks awesome!

    1. There’s a good photo of Cozmic One above in the photos.

  20. For someone that knows absolutely nothing about the ‘in’s and out’s’ of grooming a racehorse, I found this video segment fascinating. Thank you for explaining it in a novice fashion! Much appreciated:))

    And Cozmic is absolutely beautiful!!!

  21. Coz is a magnificient colt…but then the Queen is his mother and Bernie his father.
    He seems so much like Zenny…I cannot wait to see how he progresses at the Mayberry’s and then in training at, hopefully, John’s barn. To the wonderful Mosses, please, please continue letting us follow this “prince”. All of us feel he is part of our family.

  22. CoZ, you are so very handsome!! I must say I have loved your ears from the first posted photo of you. One day, I hope to say that to you face-to-face!!!! Don’t know if you are at Mayberry’s yet…the thought of the next phase of your life makes my eyes well up. You are in my heart, for you were our first!!! Be safe and sound, dear Coz. Be secure in the love and hearts you have. I will love you regardless of your career path. Just be happy!!

    Take care,
    Mary in Boone

  23. Love those ears Coz! You look like your Mama is so many ways.

  24. Love the video and pics! I love that Lane’s End does things differently and better in my opinion. :)

  25. How big is Coz? Will he grow to be as large as his mom?

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