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Zaccio

Zaccio
Induction Year: 
1990
Foaled: 
1976
Breeder: 
Blue Bear Stud
Owner: 
Mrs. Lewis C. Murdock
Trainer: 
W. Burling Cocks
Sire: 
Lorenzaccio
Dam: 
Delray Dancer
Damsire: 
Chateaugay
Career Years: 
1979-1984
Starts: 
42
First: 
22
Second: 
7
Third: 
3
Earnings: 
$288,124.00

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Bio

Bred in Kentucky by Blue Bear Stud, Zaccio’s pedigree suggested he would be a good one. His sire, Lorenzaccio, was one of two horses to beat the great Nijinsky II, doing so in the 1970 Champion Stakes in England. Zaccio's dam, Delray Dancer, was by Hall of Famer Chateaugay, while her second dam was champion Parlo, the granddam of 1969 Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame member Arts and Letters.

 

Trained by Hall of Famer W. Burling “Burley” Cocks for owner Mrs. Lewis C. Murdock, Zaccio won 22 of 42 races and earned $288,124. He started his hurdling career early, winning four steeplechases as a 3-year-old in 1979 before going on a three-year tear during which time he won 14 jump races — and three Eclipse awards — from 1980 to 1982.

 

“His greatest strength was his heart, determination and his will to win,” said former jockey Gregg Morris. “He was a real street fighter who loved to duke it out with another horse; that was when he was at his best. I don’t think he ever lost when he got in a fight.”

 

Zaccio twice won the Colonial Cup International Steeplechase and New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase Handicap, carrying 160 pounds or more in three of those runnings.

 

Zaccio retired as steeplechasing’s all-time leading earner, surpassing the legendary Neji, whose mark had stood for more than two decades. Zaccio joined his trainer and Neji in the Hall of Fame in 1990.

 

Following his retirement, Zaccio lived at the Murdocks’ farm in Peapack, N.J. He was euthanized at the age of 31 on Sept. 19, 2007 because of complications from the infirmities of old age.

 

“He was a strong-minded and strong-willed horse,” said Lisa Podraza, who cared for Zaccio at the Murdocks’ farm. “Mr. Murdock rode him for the first five years or so after he retired and hunted him until he was about 20. He would always return with plenty of horse after a day of hunting; he just wouldn’t stop.”

 

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