Barry and Joni Butzow, owners and breeders of graded stakes winner Zozos, have been named the 2023 recipients of the John Deere Award, in recognition of the breeders who participated this year in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
The John Deere Award, presented by Breeders’ Cup Limited and NTRA Advantage, emphasizes the contributions of breeders to the Breeders’ Cup program. The industry’s breeders and nominators provide funding for the purses of the World Championships through the annual nominations of foals and stallions.
NTRA Advantage and John Deere will award the Butzow’s a John Deere GatorTM️ TX Utility Vehicle.
This year’s John Deere Award winner was determined by a drawing of all breeders who won either a Breeders’ Cup World Championships race or a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race.
NEWS: Barry and Joni Butzow Win @JohnDeere Award Recognizing Breeders.
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— Breeders’ Cup (@BreedersCup) November 30, 2023
Zozos, a dark bay 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Munnings out of Papa’s Forest by Forestry, won the $400,000 Ack Ack Stakes (G3) Sept. 30 at Churchill Downs, going gate-to-wire for a 1-length score in the 1-mile race. Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, the victory earned Zozos an automatic berth into the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In. Zozos finished fifth in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Park.
“Congratulations to Barry and Joni Butzow as the recipients of this year’s John Deere Award, highlighted by the Win and You’re In victory of Zozos in the Ack Ack Stakes,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders’ Cup Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer. “The John Deere Award shines a light on the vital contributions breeders have made to the Breeders’ Cup program since its inception and honors their accomplishments. We also thank John Deere and NTRA Advantage for their sponsorship of this award.”
“Zozos has given us a wonderful trip for the last two years, culminating with the Breeders’ Cup this year,” said Barry Butzow. “It’s a journey we couldn’t have made without great people helping us along the way. Starting with the folks at Woodline Farm, Mike and JB Orem, Beau Lane, and the patient and great care of Brad Cox and staff, and of course the riding skills of Florent Geroux!
“Winning the Ack Ack proves what a great team Zozos had to work with, and now winning this award from John Deere puts the finishing touches on what has been a great ride for two years! John Deere has been and continues to be a strong proponent of the racing industry and Joni and I are extremely thankful for this award and your support.”
“Congratulations to Barry and Joni Butzow and all the breeders represented at this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park and Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In races held earlier this year,” said Auston Till, Manager Partner Sales, John Deere Ag & Turf. “John Deere is proud to recognize those breeders who excelled at the highest levels of competition throughout 2023.”
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