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Louisville trainer Brad Cox celebrates Breeder’s Cup success as star horses head for retirement

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 5:23 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One of the richest events in American horse racing finished this past weekend with a Louisville-native trainer taking home the top prize.

Knicks Go, trained by Brad Cox, won the weekend’s largest race. Cox was back in Louisville at Churchill Downs Wednesday looking ahead to the next races.

“Horse racing, it never takes a break,” Cox said. “There’s always something to point forward to and a lot of lucrative opportunities.”

The most recent lucrative opportunity was that $6 million win in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Knicks Go took first place, but not to be overshadowed, another Cox-trained horse, Essential Quality, took third.

“It was a little odd honestly because I think so much of both of these horses,” Cox said. “I didn’t really want to run them against one another, but they both deserved the opportunity as well as the owners and it worked out for Knicks Go.”

Brad Cox has made himself at home inside the Breeder’s Cup winner’s circle. He’s now got eight wins in the annual weekend-long event.

For Essential Quality, a former Derby favorite, Breeder’s Cup Classic 2021 was his last race. He’s already retired to a farm in Lexington.

“Hopefully in a couple of years we’ll be training some of his babies,” Cox said.

As for the five-year-old Knicks Go, he’s not quite done, but he’s close.

”We have one more run with him,” Cox explained. “We’re excited about that.”

What about the Kentucky Derby? Cox doesn’t have a win there yet. Knicks Go and Essential Quality are too old to compete.

However, Cox is confident his team can put a contender forward.

“We have plenty of horses, but there’s nothing really that’s stamped themselves as a Derby horse yet,” said Cox, “but it’s still early and we’ll see how it goes.”

Knicks Go’s final race is slated to be in Florida at the Pegasus World Cup in January, where he was already a winner last year.

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