| | Kentucky Derby 2008 'Cool Coal Man'
Cool Coal Man
Trainer: Nick Zito
Zito, a New York City native, started in racing as a teenager as a hotwalker and groom for trainer Buddy Jacobson. He later worked as an assistant to trainers LeRoy Jolley and John Campo. He saddled his first winner in 1972 and is one of only 17 trainers in history to saddle two or more Kentucky Derby winners (Strike The Gold and Go For Gin), as well as the 2003 Kentucky Oaks winner Bird Town. Zito saddled 2005 Kentucky Derby favorite Bellamy Road to a seventh place finish. This year his stable is stocked full of Derby contenders including War Pass, Anak Nakal, Cool Coal Man, Paint, Stevil and Web Gem.
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Leparoux was born on July 15, 1983 in Senlis, France. He moved to Southern California in 2003, to work as an exercise rider for trainer Patrick Biancone, a fellow French native. He began riding at Saratoga in 2005 and was quick to make an impact on the racing scene. Leparoux had a breakout year in 2006 which culminated in an Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice jockey; his accolades in '06 included two record breaking meets at Turfway Park, meet leading titles at Churchill Downs and Keeneland Race Course, 403 wins and $12,491,316 in earnings for the year, as well as his first stakes win (in February) and first Grade 1 win (in August). The gravy train did not stop in 2007 as Leparoux picked up meet titles at Turfway Park, Keeneland, and Churchill Downs' spring and fall meets; he also won his first Breeders' Cup race in the Juvenile Turf with Nownownow. Leparoux contested his first Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks in 2007 and was unplaced in each event.
Owner: Robert V. LaPenta
Robert V. LaPenta has been involved in racing since 1998 when he partnered with University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. He later started his own stable in 2001. Among his first eight horses - which her purchased as yearlings for a combined total of less than $900,000 - was Zavata, a multiple graded stakes winner. His top runner to date has been The Cliff's Edge, who won the 2004 Blue Grass (Grade 1) at Keeneland and went on to finish 5th in the Kentucky Derby that year, later capturing the Travers (Grade 1) before retiring to stud. His other Kentucky Derby starter was Andromeda's Hero, who finished 8th in 2005.
Breeder: Farish, Hudson, et al
A former Chairman of the Board of Churchill Downs, Farish is a well known and influential fixture in the racing world. He currently serves as Vice Chairman and Steward of The Jockey Club and a Trustee to the Keeneland Association. He is a former Director of Breeders' Cup Ltd. and former Chairman of the American Horse Council. He is a two-time Eclipse Award winning breeder; some notable horses bred by Farish include A.P. Indy, Charismatic, Danzig, Weekend Surprise, Sacahuista, Seattle Dancer and Storm Song. Farish founded Lane's End in 1979.
Finish.... Date.... Race
9th 04.12.2008 Toyota Blue Grass (GI) - Keeneland
Close to slow early pace, tired entering stretch
1st 02.24.2008 Fountain of Youth (GII) - Gulfstream Park
Settled off slow early pace, kept to task, just held on for the win
1st 01.26.2008 Allowance - Gulfstream Park
Settled off slow early pace, muscled home for the win
7th 11.24.2007 Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) - Churchill Downs
Pressed the early pace, faltered late, finished last
1st 11.3.2007 Allowance - Churchill Downs
Pressed early pace, solid driving victory
1st 10.10.2007 Maiden Special Weight - Delaware Park
Prominent throughout, runaway 10 1/4-length victory
2nd 09.8.2007 Maiden Special Weight - Belmont Park
Lead early in the race, caught in the stretch; second best
4th 08.18.2007 Maiden Special Weight - Saratoga
Broke awkardly, raced wide, never threatened
SHOW NO EMOTION