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. I work with sales yearlings for a friend here in BC. All of her kids go out every night, same reason, to keep them from getting sunburned, but the boys are kept together. Yes they play, but it’s good for them. And they are walked every day to learn to behave and keep them fit.

    Coz is looking amazing!


  2. Just …. Wow!!

  3. Cant wait to see this Fine Young Man on the Track!

  4. Wow is he a looker!! =D Thanks as always for sharing with us! Please give the Queen and her boys hugs and kisses.
    Shannon from Alabama

  5. Look how handsome that Cozmic One is! I’m so happy to see him and it looks like he has good manners as well (they wouldn’t show us the bad ones now would they?!) Ha!
    Love that boy.
    Thank you Sawyer, Team Z and Lane’s End.

  6. Loved the video and all the pics of Coz! He’s going to be one big hunk!

  7. COZZY!! How handsome you are!!! It’s almost that time!

  8. Coz has really grown into one handsome fella. A very well proportioned colt!!!!

  9. Oh, my is he starting to mature nicely. As a sport horse breeder, I love his neck/shoulder tie in. I hope even if he doesn’t work out as a race horse, he is given the opportunity to produce sport horses!

  10. My goodness, Coz is a magnificient looking colt! For anyone who was concerned about his donkey ears and legginess in earlier pics, these photos and the video clearly shows our Zenny has put her stamp on him. It will be amazing to follow his career…I think he’s going to be a good racer and he certainly looks the part. Cooper, the Mosses and everyone at LE…we are blessed to have this site and the ability to follow our Queen and her boyz. A simple thanks is not nearly enough.

  11. We love the video, the pics and Cooper’s careful explanation of the yearling process at LE. We see so much of Zenny in Coz…he is such a handsome colt and hopefully has her racing talent as well. Once again, the Mosses have allowed us to walk through Coz’s life and have a better understanding of how he is maturing into a racing thoroughbred.

  12. I have a question for anyone who may know…

    How long did it take Zenyatta to reach her fully mature?

  13. Oops…sorry, brain thought something and fingers typed something else! Try again….

    How long did it take Zenyatta to fully mature?

    1. Maryp…Zenyatta was born April 1, 2004 and her first race was November 22, 2007.

  14. Coz is such a handsome boy ! Hope he has a great career as a winner.

  15. He is his momma’s son!

    1. Indeed! Zenny’s put her stamp on this handsome colt.

  16. Coz is one handsome colt!! Good work Queen Z. His handling has been so thorough he has every opportunity to succeed. He is going to be one big Stud!

  17. Coz I Can 2015 :)

    1. I love those cool shaggy bangs.

  18. Maryp…Zenyatta was born April 1, 2004 and her first race was November 22, 2007.

    1. Thanks Markay. I came to know her later.

  19. I love the way Land’s End handles the yearlings. It’s good for them to get out and get exercise and play. It helps get them strong and healthy. I worked a lot with yearlings on in my days with thoroughbreds, I went up to northeastern Ohio to break and get ready for the track 14 yearlings. We didn’t have a walking machine, just me! Everyday, repetition and more repetition. I had four older horses up there too, two two-year geldings and a four year old gelding and a filly. It was quite the experience, I played a lot of things by ear as I had no yearling manager to guide me. More farms could take lessons from the way Land’s End does things, you turn out some marvelous horses! Thanks for sharing everything, I really look forward to your blogs. Hugs to Zenyatta and her family from Nashville!

    1. Hi Liz,
      Always glad to hear from someone else with northeast Ohio ties!!!! Sounds like you had a very interesting time here :-) Where were you located?

  20. Coz is gonna be something special… he does not look like your typical yearling. I’ll be rooting for him all the way. Look out,Racing World,something Cozmic your way comes ;)

  21. I absolutely love that you give your horses turn out time. I firmly believe it’s better for a them physically and mentally. Coz is beautiful, when he fully matures and gets over his lanky colt state he will be fabulous!

  22. WOW! Coz looks fantastic! What a big boy. Thanks for sharing this information!

  23. Wow Coz looks AMAIZING!!!! Cannot wait to see/hear about him on the track. Thanks for sharing the life and times of Zen and her offspring I love the updates.

    Hugs and Kisses to Queen Zen and her little (I should say BIG) Princes.

    Great Job!

    Bobbi in Brownsburg, Indiana

  24. Coz is looking good.

    This is great to see how he us doing.
    Loved the video and information.

  25. Wow, is Coz handsome! I think he looks alot like his sire. A great looking colt!!

  26. I didn’t look at his legs, so I thought he was Z!!

  27. I’m glad to see that Coz has outgrown that turn-over in his front legs. He’s a looker, for sure. It’s hard to believe this is the same baby that Ann Moss cuddled with in the foaling stall. Good work to all concerned…especially Queen Z.

  28. The photos, the video, the update … wow … this is so awesome!! Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop while educating a lot of us at the same time. Someday, when Cozmic One is a retired champion at stud, you can put together all these pictures in a book. Looking forward to the next step!

  29. Wow, isn’t he lovely? Thanks to everyone for the video

  30. Great video with a lot of info for non race horse people. Coz has turned into one very handsome horse and hopefully will follow in his mothers hoofprints.

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