Tag: Brad Cox

Even as the field begins forming, Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun remains a maybe for the May 15 Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Preakness Plans Begin Taking Shape; Cox Remains on the Fence

As Brad Cox ponders his Preakness plans with Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun and fourth-place finisher Essential Quality, the Preakness field is taking shape around him. Maryland Jockey Club stakes coordinator Trish Bowman put out a preliminary list of prospects for the May 15 second leg of the Triple Crown. That […]

The Kentucky Derby is only Rock Your World's second start on dirt. He is the fastest horse in the field based on speed figures. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Almost Back to Normalcy: Breaking Down the 2021 Kentucky Derby

Welcome to the 2021 Kentucky Derby. And welcome back to what a normal Kentucky Derby looks like. Almost. The crowds? Well, they’re back – about 40,000. That’s a quarter of what normally turns Churchill Downs into a sporting bacchanalia. But there’s people in the stands. We’ll take it. The horses? […]

Tuesday morning's draw for the 2021 Kentucky Derby from post 20 Bourbonic to post 1 Known Agenda. Those are two of trainer Todd Pletcher's four entries in Saturday's Run for the Roses. (Image: Churchill Downs)

Essential Quality Opens as 2/1 Favorite for 147th Kentucky Derby

As expected, Essential Quality checked in as the 2/1 morning-line favorite for the 147th Kentucky Derby. And Tuesday’s post-position Derby draw sends the undefeated colt and his favorite status into post 14 for Saturday’s 2021 Triple Crown opener. As he watched the posts fill up on Tuesday morning, this put […]

Undefeated Malathaat and John Velazquez go for their fifth consecutive victory as the 5/2 favorite in Friday's Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. (Image: Keeneland Photo)

Unbeaten Malathaat Takes Favorite Status in Kentucky Oaks

Malathaat and her undefeated record earned 5/2 morning-line favorite status for Friday’s 147th Kentucky Oaks at Monday morning’s post-position draw and morning-line announcement. The 1 1/8-mile Oaks anchors Churchill Downs’ 13-race, six-stakes Friday card. The 14-filly field of 3-year-olds runs for a $767,250 first-prize check out of the $1.25 million […]

Caddo River won January's Smarty Jones Stakes as the lone speed. The projected pace-setter for Saturday's Kentucky Derby scratched Sunday due to a fever. (Image: Coady Photography)

Projected Pace-Setter Caddo River Scratched From Kentucky Derby

Caddo River, one of three Brad Cox Kentucky Derby entries and the one pace horse in this year’s field, won’t be that pace horse. Cox scratched him from the Derby Sunday morning because of a fever. This opens the gate for Brooklyn Strong, who gets into the field with his […]

Swiss Skydiver is the 2/1 second favorite in Saturday's Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. (Image: Coady Photography)

Monomoy Girl vs. Swiss Skydiver Brings Fans a Tasty Apple Blossom

You could make a credible case the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park is the clubhouse leader for the best race of 2021. The reason you can make that case leads you to make cases for the two principals in Saturday’s Oaklawn headliner. Even-money favorite Monomoy Girl vs. […]

By My Standards won the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic Stakes last year at Fair Grounds. However, a Grade 1 eludes a horse who won more than $1 million in 2020. He opens his 2021 season at Oaklawn Park in the Listed Stakes Oaklawn Mile. (Image: Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.)

Oaklawn Mile Brings Three Familiar Names With Familiar Stories

The field for Saturday’s Listed Stakes Oaklawn Mile brings three familiar candidates with eclectic stories of redemption to a race that punches far above its weight class. There’s By My Standards, who makes his 2021 debut as the 5/2 favorite at the site of one of his 2020 victories. Hard […]

Essential Quality follows up his Southwest Stakes victory here with next week's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. He opens as the 3/1 favorite in the final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool Friday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Essential Quality Opens as KDFW Final Pool Favorite

Essential Quality opened Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager as the favorite. Now, the undefeated Tapit colt opens the fifth and final KDFW pool as the 3/1 favorite. Pool 5 of Churchill Downs’ plunge into the Derby futures market opens Friday at 9 am PT and closes Sunday […]

Proxy finished second in both Fair Grounds Derby preps: the Lecomte and the Risen Star. Can the 7/2 third-favorite break through in the Louisiana Derby? (Image: Hodges Photography)

Louisiana Derby Offers Big, Familiar Names in the Big Easy

Yes, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby has a familiar look to it that goes beyond bringing us familiar names like Mandaloun, Midnight Bourbon, Proxy – and yes, California import Hot Rod Charlie. It’s those first three that give the first of the 170-point Kentucky Derby preps that déjà vu look. […]

Clairiere (1) and Joe Talamo ran down Travel Column and Florent Geroux to win last month's Rachel Alexandra Stakes. The two top 3-year-olds tangle for the third consecutive race Saturday in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. (Image: Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography)

It’s Clairiere and Travel Column 3.0 in Fair Grounds Oaks

Clairiere and Travel Column. Travel Column and Clairiere. The two 3-year-old fillies are becoming linked in many ways as they prepare for Saturday’s Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks. The two staked their grounds as the top 3-year-olds this spring, seizing attention from last year’s Champion 2-Year-Old, Vequist, along with contenders […]

Caddo River brings front-end speed, two-turn experience and Oaklawn familiarity to Saturday's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Expect Rebel Stakes to Flow Caddo River’s Way

The Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, which holds court as the lone Kentucky Derby prep of consequence this weekend, has a Grade 1 winner in its field. Bob Baffert doesn’t train 8/1 Get Her Number, the lone Grade 1 winner in Saturday’s Rebel at Oaklawn Park. Nor does Brad Cox. No, […]

The betting bandwagon piled on Life Is Good after he and Mike Smith rolled to an eight-length victory in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes. He is as low as 2/1 on one Kentucky Derby futures board. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby Futures: When is it Too Late to Jump In?

Here is your Kentucky Derby futures reminder that the typical Derby favorite opens around 5/2 or 3/1 when Mike Battaglia issues the Churchill Downs morning line come Derby Week. We issue this reminder because right now – nearly eight weeks before the May 1 Derby – Life Is Good sits […]

Yes, Essential Quality is No. 1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Pool 4. The Tapit colt opens at 7/2 when the KDFW's Pool 4 begins Friday. (Image: Coady Photography)

No Surprise: Essential Quality Opens as 7/2 Favorite in KDFW Pool 4

Essential Quality turned his Southwest Stakes victory on Saturday into 7/2 favored status for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 4. The KDFW’s Pool 4 runs concurrently with the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager’s sole pool. Clariere opens as the 5/1 favorite for that pool. The KDFW opens Friday at […]

After their resounding Southwest Stakes victory, Essential Quality and Luis Saez point to either the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland or the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn. (Image: Coady Photography)

What’s Next on the Derby Trail for Essential Quality, Greatest Honour?

Essential Quality and Greatest Honour came out of their weekend Kentucky Derby prep victories none the worse for their victorious efforts. And, their respective trainers have already plotted their next stops on the Derby trail. Essential Quality, who splashed through the Oaklawn Park slop for a 4 ¼-length victory over […]

Monomoy Girl warms up for Sunday's Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park. She goes for her 14th win in 16 races as a prohibitive favorite. (Image: Coady Photography)

The Monomoy Girl Farewell Tour Opens at Oaklawn’s Bayakoa

Again, when you’re handicapping a Monomoy Girl race, like Sunday’s Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park, it’s best to put the pen down. Instead, pick up your attention and simply watch. Betting on Monomoy Girl, especially in a race like this, lacks value. For horse racing fans, however, it […]

Undefeated Essential Quality makes his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He's the 3/2 favorite in the Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep.  (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Southwest Stakes: Answering One Question Picks Your Winner

From a betting standpoint, Saturday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park lacks value. Do you want 3/2 Essential Quality or 8/5 Jackie’s Warrior? There are five other horses in the field, but this isn’t a rhetorical question. From a watching standpoint, the 1 1/16-mile Southwest lacks nothing. How can […]

Knicks Go just likes to go, as he did during this Thursday workout before Saturday's $20 million Saudi Cup. The 5-year-old standout nearly retired last year. (Image: Coady Photography/VidHorse)

Knicks Go, Brad Cox Tell the Story of a Horse’s Renaissance

Every time Brad Cox looks at his first Eclipse Award as 2020’s Champion Trainer, he should give thanks to Knicks Go. For if there was ever an example of how important a trainer’s impact is on an individual horse, the story of Knicks Go is Exhibit A. And if there […]

Mystic Guide comes into this weekend's Grade 3 Razorback Handicap with six in-the-money finishes. That includes his victory here in last summer's JIm Dandy Stakes at Saratoga. (Image: Coglianese Photo)

Weekend Stakes Span the Globe From Saudi Arabia to California

Looking at this weekend’s notable stakes races takes the eye halfway around the world to the $20 million Saudi Cup. Another look also takes the eye back to three races postponed from last weekend to this weekend – the Southwest Stakes, the Bayakoa Stakes, and the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn […]

Mandaloun won his first two races, including this maiden-breaker at Keeneland last October. He looks to rebound off a disappointing third last out as the 9/2 favorite in the Risen Star Saturday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Risen Star: Your First Win-And-You’re-In Derby Race for 2021

The Risen Star Stakes is, to paraphrase Drew Carey from the old “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” improv show, the race where the points begin to matter. Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds is the season’s first Kentucky Derby prep offering 50-20-10-5 qualifying points to the […]