Tag: Brad Cox

(Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Breaking Down the 2022 Kentucky Derby: Chaos Theory Reigns

Welcome to Kentucky Derby 148, a.k.a. The Chaos Derby. And we’re not talking about the usual infield escapades that happen as the Derby returns to it’s pre-pandemic crowds north of 150,000. Unpredictability? Depth? A Derby where surprises almost wouldn’t be surprising? This edition of America’s most popular race has it […]

Champion 3-Year-Old Malathaat and John Velazquez made her 2022 debut with this resounding victory in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland. That was one of the highlights of a record Spring Meet at Keeneland. (Image: Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Keeneland Brings Home Record Spring Meet Handle Across the Board

Keeneland enjoyed its third consecutive year of record Spring Meet handle, bringing in an all-sources handle of $219,284,979 for its just-concluded Spring Meet. That handle was the largest total in the Kentucky track’s history. The more than $219 million from the 15-day meet that ended Friday represented a 33.16% increase […]

Coming out of her victory in the Giant's Causeway Stakes earlier this month, Wesley Ward's Campanelle is one of the top American horses set to invade Royal Ascot in June. (Image: Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Ward’s Decorated Duo Lead an American Invasion of Royal Ascot

Wesley Ward’s decorated duo of Golden Pal and Campanelle headline a 16-horse American contingent of nominees for this year’s Royal Ascot Group 1 races. A customary presence at the mid-June meet, Ward is one of four American trainers nominating horses to one of the eight Group 1 races. Graham Motion, […]

Rated R Superstar, seen here winning the Grade 3 Essex Stakes, is one of three millionaires in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap field. He is 5/1 on the morning line in a deep, eight-horse field. (Image: Coady Photography)

This Deep Oaklawn Handicap Provides A Handicapper’s Puzzle

The numbers tell you how competitive Saturday’s Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap is from a wagering standpoint. Because this is a race where just about everyone can win. How competitive is the anchor stakes race on Oaklawn Park’s 12-race card? Six of the eight older horses in the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn […]

Campanelle works out before her 4-year-old debut awaits in Saturday's Giant's Causeway Stakes at Keeneland. That is the opening leg to this week's Cross Country Pick 5. (Image: Coady Photography)

Salty Kentucky Derby Prep, Ascot Winner Head Cross Country Pick 5

The last stop on the 2022 Kentucky Derby trail and a Royal Ascot winner making her season debut headline this week’s New York Racing Association Cross Country Pick 5 wager. This week’s Cross Country Pick 5 features races from Keeneland and Aqueduct. Two of the five races are stakes events. That […]

Cyberknife captured the Arkansas Derby Saturday, vaulting him into the Kentucky Derby. (Image: Coady Photography)

Kentucky Derby Prep Stretch Run: Who’s Rising, Who’s Falling

Saturday’s penultimate wave of Kentucky Derby prep races brought four horses into the Derby field and taught us plenty about several others who either evolved into Derby contenders or devolved into Derby pretenders. There was White Abarrio, winning the Florida Derby in stellar fashion to punch his ticket to the […]

Secret Oath is bidding to be the first filly in 38 years to win the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. The D. Wayne Lukas charge is the 5/2 morning line favorite. (Image: Coady Photgraphy)

Favorite Secret Oath is No Secret Coming in to Arkansas Derby

In 1984, D. Wayne Lukas decided on a whim to bring back his filly Althea for the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. That this was unconventional – even for those times of running horses far more often than happens now – can’t be understated. That’s because Althea ran the week before, […]

The last time Echo Zulu ran came in this Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies romp at Del Mar in November. She returns Saturday as the 3/5 morning line favorite for the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. (Image: Benoit Photo)

She’s Back: Champion Echo Zulu Returns for Fair Grounds Oaks

Echo Zulu was the 2-year-old everyone couldn’t wait to see run at 3. Now, the four-month wait to see the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly will end on Saturday when Echo Zulu leads a six-filly contingent into the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. From a betting standpoint, horseplayers are likely to either […]

Plainsman (left) held off Thomas Shelby to win February's Grade 3 Razorback Handicap. Plainsman is the 3/1 favorite to win Saturday's Grade 3 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

With Cox Duo, This Essex One of Saturday’s Best Races–Anywhere

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox is skilled at keeping his front-row charges apart from each other – a skill he abandoned for Saturday’s Grade 3 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park. Cox sends out a pair of millionaire multiple Grade 3 winners: Plainsman and Warrior’s Charge, for the 1 1/16-mile […]

Ce Ce's nose victory in the Apple Blossom two years ago was her first Grade 1 score. She is the 3/1 second choice in Saturday's Grade 2 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

Don’t Sleep on This Budding Mare Rivalry in Oaklawn’s Azeri Stakes

While eyes are on Tampa Bay Downs and its Kentucky Derby prep, Oaklawn Park offers up the juicy Grade 3 Azeri Stakes, starring an Eclipse Award winner and a mare who could eventually become one. That would be reigning Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter Ce Ce, who tangles with the Azeri’s […]

Joel Rosario and Knicks Go rode off with a combined three Eclipse Awards at Thursday night's Eclipse Awards ceremony at Santa Anita Park. Knicks Go won Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male Eclipses, while Rosario won his first Jockey of the Year Eclipse. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson)

Knicks Go Rides Off With 2021 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year

True to his running style, Knicks Go broke out to a big lead and proved uncatchable, capturing the Eclipse Award for 2021 Horse of the Year when the Eclipse Awards were announced Thursday night at Santa Anita Park. The now-6-year-old horse received 228 votes out a possible 235 first-place votes […]

Perhaps Dash Attack needed muck like he conquered in the Smarty Jones last weekend in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes. The previous unbeaten colt finished fifth in the Southwest at Oaklawn Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

McPeek Trying to Figure Out Why Dash Attack Went South in Southwest

Dash Attack came into last Saturday’s Southwest Stakes as one of the Kentucky Derby prospects to watch. He came in as the unbeaten, 3.40/1 second favorite for the Southwest. He came out of it unscathed physically, according to trainer Kenny McPeek. As for his once-invincible aura? Not so much. Not […]

Knicks Go opened his 2021 season winning the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational. He hopes to close his stellar career becoming the first repeat winner in event history Saturday. (Image: Gulfstream Park)

Knicks Go, Life Is Good Make Pegasus World Cup a Two-Horse Race

A “happy, fresh, and full of himself” Knicks Go will defend his Pegasus World Cup Invitational title Saturday on the rail as the 6/5 morning-line favorite. That’s the result of Tuesday’s post-position draw for the $3 million Grade 1 event. The presumptive favorite to be named Horse of the Year […]

Mandaloun finished second to Medina Spirit in last year's controversial Kentucky Derby. He takes on rival Midnight Bourbon for the sixth time in the Grade 3 Louisiana Stakes at Fair Grounds Saturday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Cue Round Six for Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon in Louisiana Stakes

The Louisiana Stakes, starring Mandaloun vs. Midnight Bourbon, sounds like deja vu all over again. And again. And again. And again. And, yes, again. This latest duel — the sixth between the newly minted 4-year-olds and 2021 Triple Crown rivals — returns the pair to Fair Grounds and the $150,000 […]

Concert Tour seeks a return to the form he showed last spring at Santa Anita Park. He finished last in his first race in eight months. (Image: Zoe Metz)

Cox Frustrated by Concert Tour’s Single Gear

Brad Cox knows the rules of engagement, which doesn’t make Concert Tour’s last-place finish in last weekend’s Fifth Season Stakes at Oaklawn Park any easier to digest. Losing by 15 lengths as the 3/2 favorite in the nine-horse Fifth Season field does, however, come with reinforced lessons. One of which being, […]

The 51st Eclipse Awards winners will be announced Feb. 10. Sixteen of the 17 finalist categories were announced Saturday. (Image: NTRA)

Few Surprises Revealed as Eclipse Award Finalists Announced

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the Daily Racing Form announced the finalists for the 2021 Eclipse Awards on Saturday. The list of finalists did not include Horse of the Year candidates, for which Knicks Go is a virtual certainty. Instead, finalists in 16 of […]

Home Brew finds himself the favorite in a deep, record-sized Smarty Jones field. The mile-race is Oaklawn Park's first of four Kentucky Derby preps. (Image Coady Photography)

Oaklawn’s Smarty Jones Packs In, Sends Out a Record-Sized Field

Whichever candidate wins Saturday’s Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park will get themselves a dress rehearsal for the Kentucky Derby and its cavalry-charge-sized field. Because, barring any scratches, the Smarty Jones will send out the largest field in event history with 14 horses. The one-mile Smarty Jones, the first of […]

Epicenter captured thi Churchill Downs maiden special weight last month. He is the 5/2 favorite to win the inaugural Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds, Sunday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Inaugural Gun Runner Stakes Provides Epicenter of Week’s Derby Preps

There’s a certain symmetry, a certain karmic presence in Steve Asmussen sending out Epicenter as the 5/2 favorite for the inaugural running of the 1 1/16-mile Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds. Whether Epicenter can follow in the hoofprints of Gun Runner – one of Asmussen’s best horses – remains […]