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. Channel 4 Racing ‏tweets
    Comfortable win for KINGMAN in the Solario. James Doyle was able to coast past
    the Godolphin pair and take the race with plenty in hand.

    They’re off in the Solario, with Music Theory striding away to make the pace,
    Kingman settled in the rear by James Doyle.

    Music Theory, who the market suggests is the only threat to Kingman, bangs his head into the side of the stalls. Ouch.

    All eyes on the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown now. If KINGMAN is to be
    an equine superstar you feel he has to win very comfortably.

  2. Dear Max First big win for Juddmonte’s new jockey James Doyle on Kingman the ante post favourite for the 2000 guineas. A lovely horse by Invincible Spirit won quite easily is no Frankel!!!Is very sad Diana didn’t live to see her grandson Bruce she’d have made a delightful grandmother. Will always remember that week in the UK ,the British are always known for their stiff upper lip we certainly showed our emotional side then Diana would have been proud of us!! hugs Sheena

    1. Dear Sheena:

      Congrats to JD and Kingman.

      You’re so right; Diana would have been a great Grandmother and she would be so proud of her boys and Kate.

      Remember vividly how shocked and sad I was, as were so many. I cried when I heard the news of her death. Love and Hugs, JB

      1. Judy, I agree with you about Diana. She did love her boys. I remember how shocked I was too. We were in London about a year after that. I couldn’t believe Diana and Mother Teresa’s funerals were just about the same time.

    2. Sheena. Good for Kingman. Might be too soon to say if he is not another Frankel. Could be. Hope that he fares better than the Kingman who won the KD in 1891. That Kingman holds the record for the slowest win, and he passed away too young at 5.

  3. WOW! Where have I been? (Thanks BW for the “heads up”). What an absolutely fantastic update! So informative with great pictures and video. Thanks to Cooper and Alys and everyone at LE/Team Z. We’ve all learned so much, and it’s great to get some additional perspective from those Zensters who have had their own experiences with yearlings. Coz looks wonderful!! It sounds like an echo in here, but I will repeat that there really ARE no words to express our appreciation not only for keeping us “in the loop” but also for the wonderful education these posts continue to provide.

    RIP Saginaw. I saw the race and heard only that he was “eased.” His jockey jumped down, and I was so hopeful that it wasn’t anything serious. I haven’t been a racing fan long enough to have known him, but I read about his amazing career this morning. Condolences to all his fans and connections.

    1. Sandy-Saginaw was a one-in-a-lifetime horse. Anybody would have been proud to own him. Too bad he was not able to enjoy a dignified retirement.

  4. I’m wondering when Cosmic One goes to Florida (I think he will go to the same place Z did before coming to John), and of course, John is conveniently already on ‘this’ side of the States now – with Z and babies just a few hundred miles away. Then again, John isn’t big on racing 2 year olds…. It will be hard for the Mosses to avoid the Classics when Cozmic One is 3. I’m thinking they will start him at 2 even if it’s just one or two races (if they think he can really run). He looks great.

  5. Coz is finally growing into himself! Good boy!

  6. Thanks for these new photos,video and updates.
    Coz, you are so good looking and I really like those bands! Did, Alys paint them on for you? You are just too cool. Love ya!

    1. Ann NC. Take a look at the expression in his eye in the conformation photo. Channelling Roberto? Big D had that self possesed look. Coz seems already to be a very confident young man. Looks regal like his mother and granny V.

      1. His future is assured even if he can’t run a step. His breeding makes him a most valuable stallion prospect.

        1. TC. Agree.

        2. Dear TC GP and Max:

          Absolutely. Hugs, JB

  7. So thrilled to see Z’s beautiful boy ! He will do great things ! Hugs to Z, Coz, and 13Z :)

  8. Coz is looking awesome!!!! He is looking more and more like Bernardini!!!! Hopefully he will have Zenny’s sweet personality and competitive fierceness!!! He is a beautiful boy!!!! Thank you so much for letting is see behind the scenes and how wonderful Lane’s End staff is!!!

  9. Dear Z Fans:

    Just checked the track conditions at Saratoga; sloppy. Praying for safe trips for all. Love and Hugs, JB

    1. JudyB. Do not want to hear this. Worried for Paynter, Dan, 3M and the others in the Woodward as well as the horses in other races. Will be glad when this racing day is over. Too many injuries and deaths lately everywhere. Very distressing.

      1. MMM was scratched!

      2. Dear Max:

        Yes, I agree. Don’t like a sloppy racing surface either. Makes me nervous. Hugs, JB

  10. He really looks a lot like Bernie, but his eye and demeanor are mama Z. He is very easy to handle and quite confident. In a word, regal.

  11. Mucho Macho Man scratched from Woodward-sloppy track!

  12. Guillot Accuses Saez of Buzzer Use in Travers
    by Paulick Report Staff | 08.31.2013
    Eric Guillot, trainer of Travers runner-up Moreno, has filed a complaint against Will Take Charge’s jockey, Luis Saez, claiming that Saez used an electronic device on his mount during the Grade 1 contest. The complaint was filed with the New York State Gaming Commission, according to a report by Daily Racing Form.
    Guillot was sent slow-motion video of the NBC broadcast of Will Take Charge’s gallop out after the race, and believes it shows Saez moving something from his right to his left hand, and then slipping it under the horse’s saddle towel.

    1. Marc Doche ‏
      Here’s the @NBCSN video of Travers.
      Skip ahead to 6:45 second mark. #Traversgate #Charge

      1. I couldn’t tell much. Could you all see anything?

        On a lighter note. Stonestreet posted a pic of Rachel’s girl. Awesomely beautiful. Perhaps Lanes End can paste it on Little Red’s wall like a pinup!

  13. I totally DISAGREE with this kid. MOST farms actually do turnout around 6/7/8pm their Sale horses and do not keep them in all the time as he states here. MOST do combination of prepping on the walker, handwalking and/or swimming. And MOST farms separate the Keepers from the Sellers. But I’m sorry to tell you Lane’s End (which in fact does a good job) is NOT doing anything different from the rest of the farms around Central Kentucky. At least not anything show or explain here.

    Oscar Penaloza

  14. So relieved to see little Jackson Bend doing well. Love the little guy. Way to go.

    1. I thought he had it there …..great job JB

    2. Glad for Jackson Bend and that all of them got home safely.

    3. Dear Barbara,
      I thought Jackson Bend ran really well, too. Happy to see him getting back to his wonderful self — for a few seconds, I thought he might win it.
      Relieved that all seemed to finish safely.

  15. ♥ CoZ you are so handsome!!! You are already showing your “professional” side :-)

    I see so much of your Momma in you but I also see your daddy, Bernardini!

    Best of luck when you go to “school”. God bless and keep you safe always.

    ♥ Love always, Auntie Judy XO

  16. Safe trips for all horses and jockeys today hugs Sheena

  17. Stewards’ report for Miracles of Life race:

    Race 4 – H D F MCNEIL STAKES (Group 3) – 1200 metres:

    Prior to correct weight S Arnold rider of Prince Harada, second placegetter, viewed the Stewards film before deciding not to lodge an objection. At a later inquiry:

    L Stojakovic (Miracles Of Life) pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding under the provisions of AR137a, the careless riding being that near the 100m she permitted her mount to shift in under riding, when not clear of Prince Harada making contact with that colt resulting in Prince Harada being tightened for room and hampered. L Stojakovic had her license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence at midnight August 31 and to expire at midnight September 12, a total of twelve race meetings (two metropolitan, ten provincial). In assessing penalty Stewards took into account L Stojakovic’s guilty plea and good record and that the incident qualified for the higher end of the mid-range.

    B Prebble (Fast ‘n’ Rocking) pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding under the provisions of AR137a, the careless riding being that passing the 100m he permitted his mount to shift in when not sufficiently clear of Miracles Of Life thereby tightening that filly in onto Prince Harada resulting in both Miracles Of Life and Prince Harada having to be checked. B Prebble had his license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence at midnight September 1 and to expire at midnight September 13, a total of twelve race meetings (two metropolitan, ten provincial). In assessing penalty Stewards took into account B Prebble’s guilty plea and good record and that the incident qualified for the higher end of the mid-range.

    Prince Harada and Orion (NZ) were slow to begin.

    Divine Calling jumped awkwardly and shifted in.

    In the middle stages Miracles Of Life over-raced.

    Prince Harada layed in in the early part of the straight.

    In the straight Divine Calling had a tendency to hang in under pressure and made contact with the running rail near the 100m.

    Near the 200m Prince Harada shifted in when obtaining a run to the inside of Miracles Of Life and as a result tightened Divine Calling which was weakening.

    Near the 150m Thermal Current had to be steadied out across the heels of Fast ‘n’ Rocking (B Prebble) which was shifting in. B Prebble was severely reprimanded for shifting in when not clear.

    After the running of the race the RV veterinary surgeon reported that Prince Harada had sustained a small wound to its near fore pastern.

    1. Dear Kathy R:

      Tough race for Lauren and Barbie. Hope B and all the horses came out of the race OK. Love and Hugs, JB

  18. Dear Sandy and Bluegrass Girl:

    Have posted (above) the extract from the Racing Victoria stewards report relating to the Barbie race. It was a roughhouse affair, and basically careless riding usually means the jocks have failed to look over their shoulder to see if there is room to shift their mount. Watching races here it’s easy to see the heads turning to do just that. It may have been caused by the age of the horses – three year olds are still learning their craft, which is all the more reason for the jockeys to be very responsible in their riding. And “Fast” is very aware he’s a colt and played up before and after the race (dumped the jock). Lauren has been having a bit of a downer in Adelaide with no success in races, and may have been over anxious to succeed in the McNeil. But thankfully no one was injured seriously by the race. As far as a replacement for Lauren, that will depend on just when Clarken (trainer) decides to race the filly next. Cheers, KathyR.

    1. Thanks KathyR – just read what you had posted above – sounds like they were racing bumper cars rather than horses! Glad no one was hurt, and now I see that it’s a twelve day suspension so I guess that could have been worse.

  19. Dear KathyR Heck I thought some of our races were rough!!!! hugs Sheena

  20. Emotional day of comebacks and comedowns for the girls:

    Note for Pati: You have to be an optimist to be involved in racing!

  21. Wowie – did anyone go with Alpha in the Woodward? Even his trainer sounded like they just decided to let him have one more chance for the heck of it, and he runs away with it. Note to self – take more seriously 3 wins out of 4 starts at the track in question (not like I didn’t see that, but his recent record . . . . well . . . . you know). Way to go you Bernie baby!!! Glad I at least guessed right about Flat Out, but he won’t pay anywhere near what Alpha did.

    1. Disappointed for Paynter, but as Scarlett would say, tomorrow is another day. Hope that all of those horses came out of the race okay. You have to love them all. That Flat Out is a real trooper. Same for the others on that sloppy track.

      1. Dear Max, Janet and Z Fans:

        Think you’re right; Paynter did not like the track. Thankfully everyone got through it. Scary footing. Love and Hugs, JB

    2. Sandy,

      I was hoping Alpha would do well and he did.
      He loved that sloppy track and proved he loves
      Poor Paynter did not like the track at all. I saw him
      in the post parade and he was the least calm of all the
      I forgot where I heard if they come out on their toes
      on a muddy track, they do not run well. I guess he
      showed today that it is true.
      I liked all of the runners today and can not be
      unhappy however it turned out.

  22. Bernie doesn’t waste any time. His press release about Alpha is out already. One day we might see one about Coz.

    1. Well! He didn’t waste any time did he? Thanks Max – a year ago I DID bet on Alpha in this race – wish I had gone with my heart this time. Look out world – Coz is coming!

      1. Coz I Can 2015

    2. Dear Max:

      Hoping so. Love and Hugs, JB

  23. Dear Zentastic Team:

    Just got back from visiting Charlie and checked the results of the Woodward. Wow! Congrats to Bernie’s Baby Beautiful Alpha and Johnny V. Way to go. Congrats too to Flat Out and Successful Dan. Almost made it this week. Sorry Team; I’m still not on the board. Love and Hugs, JB

    1. You know we love you whether you’re on the board or not! Glad you had a visit with Charlie et al. – hope it was a good one :-)

      1. Dear Sandy:

        Thank you for that. Makes me feel better. I came so close today. Exacta Boxed Alpha with Successful Dan. Back to the drawing board.

        I did have a good visit with Charlie. Wasn’t possible to see all of the horses today because they were spread out in different paddocks. I left carrots in everyone’s feed bucket so they would find them tonight when they come in.

        Love and Hugs, JB

    2. Sandy-What you need to check out on a day like Saturday is the horse’s rating on off tracks and how it has fared in the past. If this race was ran on a fast track with the same horses competing, doubt we would see the same result.

      1. I DID check that (how do you think I got to Flat Out???? :-) Saw Alpha’s one start and win under those conditions – guess I just didn’t think it was enough (sigh).

  24. Dear Z, COZ, Red Prince and Baby Z:

    Sweet Dreams. Love Ya. Hugs, JB

  25. Dear Judy Hope you enjoyed your day with Charlie at the farm. Have a goodnight and sweet dreams Congratulations to Bernie’s baby Alpha. Love and hugs to you, Lola Mae Charlie and all the sweeties SheenaX

    1. Dear Sheena:

      Yes, I love going to spend time with him. Just thrilled for Bernie’s Alpha too. Love and Hugs, JB, LM, PC and all the Sweeties

  26. Wowwie!! Thank you Lanes End!! I loved all the video footage, Cooper’s explanations, and of course seeing Coz! He has grown into such a stunning colt ( I always knew that), but whenever I see his head, for sure, it is a Zenyatta’s colt! I am happy to hear he is going to Mayberry Farms as I have visited and although they were gracious to me, they are very serious about their responsibilities and business. I wonder if he will get to go in the stall that Zenyatta was once in. That would be awesome!
    hugs to all, Sally B (alias, Auntie Sally B)

  27. Thanks to Lane’s End for the video! I must say Coz floats over the ground and carries himself in such a regal manner. He knows he is special. What a handsome boy he is!

  28. Hi all, I spent an afternoon actually inside my home today working on a project for fundraising for Cedar Valley Horse Sanctuary and lo and behold the races were on!!!
    I am very happy for Alpha and because of Bernadini but oh, then there was Flatout, who I think is awesome and beloved Paynter, who almost lost his life. I could never be betting on the horses as I have to much personal emotion involved!! ha ha

    Disappointed for Paynter and I am glad all are safe, or I think as of now.

    Zenyatta, sweet dreams. I am thrilled to have watched you on the track, not only for your wins, but for your display of dance, of kindness, and of such beauty and strength to behold!!!
    You are forever etched in my soul.
    love n kisses Z and to your two sons as well
    Auntie Sally B

  29. Judy B, So how is Charlie today? Have you ever described Charlie on the site? I’d like a description of Charlie if you would be willing to give one. Way back I seem to remember how you got Charlie. Could you describe him now so I can picture him?
    hugs, Sally B

    I had read on Bloodhorse that Saginaw, who I was not too familiar with, had to be euthanized because of a race injury. Geez, I am sorry to here about it. That is the only problem with horse racing that I love, is that there are critical injuries that do occurr. The horse did not have a chance to live on.
    Sally B

    1. Dear Sally:

      Charlie is doing very well. He was out in the paddock today and came right over to me when I called him to have some treats. Here are a couple of photos of him. The first one is from earlier this year and the second one I took today. He’s such a beautiful boy and has a sweet disposition.

      Hope Sir and all of your Sweeties are doing well.

      So sad. Too many fatal injuries all in a week’s time. Tragic part of the sport. Love and Hugs, JB

      1. Dear Judy,
        Thanks for the photos! Charlie is gorgeous — what a handsome boy!
        I am so glad that you found each other. Love and Hugs

        1. Dear Marshall:

          He is such a gentle soul. So lucky to have him close by to visit often. Love and Hugs, JB

        2. He looks like he is so sweet. What a cutie.

      2. Dear Judy–thanks for the photos of dear PC. Hugs.

        1. Dear Barb W:

          You’re so welcome. How is Money doing? Love and Hugs, JB

      3. Hi Charlie – glad to see you looking so fine!

  30. For Judy Gadwood’s Mother
    on the Occasion of her 92nd Birthday
    (August 31, 2013, revised from 2011)

    Judy’s mother Ramona
    Is a sweet delight
    Whose love shines like a bright light
    Within a glowing corona.
    For ninety-two years Ramona’s been living
    And constantly giving
    Of herself to others.
    As all who know her can see,
    She’s the epitome
    Of mothers.

    Happy birthday, Ramona!

    1. Thank you, Trina, and Happy Birthday, Ramona! Hope you have a blessed day and enjoy it to the fullest! Sending Z-hugs.

    2. Dear Ramona:

      Happy, Happy Birthday. Lovely poem. Love and Hugs, JB

    3. ♥ THANK YOU!! ♥

    4. A very nice poem. I’m honored to share a birthday with such a lovely lady. Hope you had a wonderful day, Ramona.

      1. Oh, Marty, happy belated birthday and many humble apologies on my part for missing the day! I’ve now posted your poem on page six… So sorry for my oversight!