Brad Cox is back, ready to win the Kentucky Derby in a more conventional way

Mandaloun Derby sign on the Brad Cox barn at Churchill Downs
Mandaloun Derby sign on the Brad Cox barn at Churchill Downs(WAVE 3 News)
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 9:06 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - There’s a new sign on the Brad Cox barn, a sign that represents a dream come true, sort of.

“You want to win the Derby to have that thrill, right, and there’s really no thrill in finding out you won the Derby through a text message, so we definitely want to get back there and hopefully we can win it the right way.” Cox said.

He found in February that his horse, Mandaloun, had been moved up, after Medina Spirit was officially disqualified from Kentucky Derby 147. Medina Spirit failed a post race drug test. Betamethasone was culprit.

Cox found that Monday in February, the day the sign was officially changed in the Churchill Downs paddock, but the party is still not on the schedule.

“They were gracious enough to ask if we would want anything and I think you know they asked Juddmonte (Farm) as well, and we kind of declined,” he said. “Not really how we want to win a race, it’s just not really how we want to do it or accept it and that’s just the bottom line.”

The 42 year-old didn’t win his first Grade One race until 2018, but he’s won the Ecplise Award as the top trainer in the sport the last two years. Essential Quality gave him his first, at the time, Triple Crown win, in the Belmont Stakes last June. He has won seven Breeders’ Cup races and the Kentucky Oaks twice.

“I think people sometimes think to them, oh he’s overnight, no, it’s not overnight, I mean there were a lot of cold winter nights at Turfway in the last race at 10 o’clock at night, guess what, the camera wasn’t there and that’s what I remember.” Cox said.

“I remember driving home, you know at midnight from Turfway Park and having to get up the next morning to train, and you know there’s a lot of long hard days that you put in, it definitely wasn’t overnight. I mean, yeah, people think, he has some Oaks and Derby horses now, where’d he come from, well no, I’m been here, people didn’t know who I was 10-15 years ago.”

He’ll take three shots at Kentucky Derby 148 with Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife, Louisiana Derby runner-up Zozos and Lexington Stakes winner Tawny Port.

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