SARATOGA SPRINGS – Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go continued to flaunt his winning ways, defeating a compact but talented group of all graded stakes -winning millionaires in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Whitney.
Trained by Brad Cox, the now four-time Grade 1 winner arrived at the nine-furlong Whitney, which offered a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, off a sharp in hand victory in the Grade 3 Cornhusker on July 2 at Prairie Meadows.
Knicks Go captured the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Keeneland and the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup in January at Gulfstream Park.
Piloted by Joel Rosario on Saturday, Knicks Go led the field at every point of call and drew away in the stretch to a 4 ½-length win, garnering a 111 Beyer Speed Figure.
Cox said he has not yet made plans for a next start for his talented son of Paynter, but he would like to race him once before the Grade 1, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 6 at Del Mar.
“We’ll let the dust settle, but my thoughts would be to give him a race five to six weeks out [from the Breeders’ Cup Classic],” Cox said. “I haven’t really dug into it yet, the biggest thing is how he came out of yesterday’s race. It would be nice to get a race into him between now and then, but where that might be I don’t know.
“I was really pleased with how he looked this morning,” Cox added. “He ate up well, so everything is really positive.”
Knicks Go made his first start for Cox in February 2020 with an allowance optional claiming triumph at Oaklawn Park. Following an eight-month hiatus, Knicks Go burst back onto the scene with a Keeneland allowance optional claiming score ahead of a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at the Lexington oval.
Cox said Knicks Go has taken big leaps forward in his 2021 campaign.
“He was a very good horse last year and he’s a better horse now,” Cox said. “Last year he was able to win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile against a great group of horses. He had one prep going into that about five weeks out. This year, he’s been able to race throughout the winter and rebounded well. He’s had three races this summer, so he’s been campaigned with more foundation this year, so I just have to think he’s a better horse. He’s a more accomplished horse and built a nice foundation.”
Boasting a record of 22-8-3-1, Knicks Go has lifetime earnings of $5,368,995.