10/06/2008 11:00PM

Cozzene, top sire and turf champ, dies


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Cozzene, the 1985 champion turf male and a former leading North American and international sire, was euthanized Tuesday at Gainesway Farm in Lexington due to failing health, the farm announced. The Caro stallion was 28.

Cozzene covered 38 mares this year, according to Gainesway, and 26 of those are reported to have conceived.

Bred by Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud and trained by his son Jan, Cozzene launched his racing career at age 3. He won 10 of his 24 starts, including the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Mile and four other stakes. He also placed in the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap, Breeders’ Cup Mile, and Man o’ War Stakes in 1984. That season, he set a course record at Monmouth Park, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.

When he retired to Gainesway for stud duties in 1985, he had earned $978,152.

Cozzene was leading North American sire in 1996 and leading international sire in 2002. his runners have earned more than $80 million. Among them are Japanese champion Admire Cozzene; Canadian champions Cozzene’s Prince, Hasten to Add, and Santa Amelia; 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup; European champion and 1994 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Tikkanen; English champion Environment Friend; and Grade 1 winner Star of Cozzene.

Cozzene has been buried at Gainesway.