Zozos Continues Winning Ways in G3 Ack Ack
Munnings son Zozos (4c Munnings x Papa’s Forest, by Forestry) has been on fire in 2023 and Saturday was no different with the dark bay winning the Grade III Ack Ack Stakes.
The Barry and Joni Butzow homebred sprinted to the lead in the one-mile dirt race as the heavy favorite and was happy to undergo some pressure to keep that spot. That pressure first came from Caddo River before Justify’s half-brother took up the charge around the turn.
Zozos never had a big lead as he raced around the Churchill Downs dirt but was happy to put in the work to keep it down the stretch. With Florent Geroux urging him on, Zozos scored a one length victory with only the second and third placed runners within seven lengths of him.
It’s the fourth win in six starts this year for the Brad Cox-trained Zozos, who is quickly approaching the $1 million mark with $882,688 in earnings. The colt has won three stakes in his career and was also second in the Grade II Louisiana Derby in only his third career start last year.
Zozos is the second foal out of nine-time winner Papa’s Forest. That tough race mare produced another nine-time winner in Emerald Forest with Zozos himself having seven wins to his name. Papa’s Forest is a half-sister to the stakes placed Down With Dixie with the pair being two of seven winners out of Dixie Sue.
Zozos is one of 11 stakes winners and 29 stakes performers this year for Munnings with eight of those earning blacktype at the graded stakes level. Munnings sits fifth among all North American sires by number of stakes winners in 2023.