02/03/2017 10:16AM

Rockin' Z Ranch dispersal brings Oklahoma flavor to Kentucky


One of the highlights of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale catalog is the dispersal of Robert Zoellner’s Rockin’ Z Ranch, which puts 32 horses on offer ranging from yearlings, to graded-stakes-winning broodmares, to a 3-year-old with Kentucky Derby points.

The Beggs, Okla., operation, which quickly established itself as one of its state’s top breeding and stallion operations, is in the midst of a full land and stock liquidation, with Zoellner citing personal reasons for the decision. Vinery Sales will handle the horses at the Fasig-Tipton sale as agent. The auction will take place Monday and Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton’s Newtown Paddocks base in Lexington, Ky.

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Among the horses in the dispersal is Rowdy the Warrior, a 3-year-old Warrior’s Reward colt who picked up two Kentucky Derby qualifying points by running third in the Smarty Jones Stakes on Jan. 16 at Oaklawn Park.

“It’s an exciting thing to have Rowdy the Warrior in there,” said Derek MacKenzie of Vinery Sales. “He’s got plenty of targets yet. I thought he finished up well in that race. He was closing at the end, and I think more distance will serve him. Hopefully, there are some sort of Derby dreams, if it’s the Arkansas Derby or maybe even the Kentucky Derby if things go well.”

Zoellner has campaigned two graded stakes winners, both out of the same mare, and all three horses will be offered in the dispersal.

She’s All In, by Include, earned more than $1.1 million on the racetrack and won or placed in four graded stakes, including a win in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap and a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap. The 10-year-old is offered in-foal to former Rockin’ Z stallion Magna Graduate.

“She should be the featured horse of our dispersal,” said ranch manager Joe Flemings. “She was a very good racehorse.”

Peach Brew, an 11-year-old daughter of Milwaukee Brew, won the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks and sells in foal to Temple City.

The dam of those two mares, the 16-year-old Hickory Ridge mare Georgia Ok, is not pregnant.

Of the horses cataloged for the dispersal, 26 are Oklahoma-breds, and four of the eight mares in foal were covered by Oklahoma stallions.

There is no debating that the dispersal has a regional flavor, and Rockin’ Z Ranch is about 750 miles from Lexington. However, MacKenzie said the appeal of the higher-end offerings should reach beyond state lines.

“Almost every trainer you talk to says, ‘I need horses, I don’t have enough,’ regardless of where we are,” he said. “I think there will be some trainers looking at these horses that are Kentucky-based, and for sure, I think Oklahomans will make the trip for these or have representatives here to try to buy them and take them back. It seems like racehorses right now that are sound and running or basically ready to go right into the gate, they’re at a premium in a down sales market overall.”