Tag: Brad Cox

Jackie's Warrior (right) held off Dream Shake to win last month's Pat Day Mile. Race fans would take a repeat of this stretch drive in Saturday's Grade 1 Woody Stephen Stakes at Belmont Park. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

One-Turn Doesn’t Mean One-Trick Ponies in This Woody Stephens

Looking at the familiar names lining up for Saturday’s Grade 1 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park, it’s tempting to dismiss the seven-furlong sprint as a race for Triple Crown washouts, has-beens, and never-weres. Don’t. Instead, understand that not every horse is bred to go two turns. Understand that the Woody […]

Swiss Skydiver owns stakes victories at five tracks, including two here at Santa Anita Park. She attempts to add Belmont Park to her stakes resume in Saturday's Grade 1 Ogden Phipps. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Swiss Skydiver Finally Lands at Belmont Park for Deep Ogden Phipps

Somehow, the Swiss Skydiver Stakes Tour bypassed Belmont Park. Somehow, the Champion 3-Year-Old Filly missed the biggest racing sandbox of them all – Big Sandy. How did a filly who won six graded stakes races over five racetracks miss America’s largest racetrack, Belmont Park? An oversight? Well, it’s an oversight […]

Essential Quality gives Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox a wonderful opportunity to win his first Triple Crown race. He's the 2/1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Belmont Stakes. (Image: Charlie Riedel/AP Photo)

Could Essential Quality Close Triple Crown Hole in Cox’s Resume?

For Brad Cox, is Essential Quality the final piece of the Triple Crown race puzzle? First, there was Owendale’s third in the 2019 Preakness Stakes. Then, there was Mandaloun finishing second in the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Can Essential Quality give Cox his first American Classic victory in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes? […]

Tampa Bay Derby winner Helium finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby. He's one of the favorites for Saturday's Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Do These Two Derby Runners Look Familiar, Matt Winn Bettors?

The natural thing to do looking at the field for Saturday’s Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs is to fix your eyes on two familiar names that leap off the page at you. O Besos and Helium. Look familiar, do they? Well, they should, considering both finished in […]

With no Charlatan in the gate, Knicks Go becomes a likely favorite for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on the June 5 Belmont Stakes undercard. (Image: Coady Photography)

Cox Calls a New Play for Knicks Go — The Met Mile

Even Brad Cox understands how the avoid Bob Baffert game is played, which explains why he moved his star older horse, Knicks Go, to the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap. That June 5 race is the first-among-equals Grade 1 on the Belmont Stakes undercard. Cox originally targeted Knicks Go for the […]

Knicks Go opened his 5-year-old campaign winning the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. He returns to action three months after a fourth-place Saudi Cup finish in the May 31 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park. (Image: Coglianese Photos)

Knicks Go Returns Off the Main Track — at Texas’ Lone Star Park

Standout 5-year-old horse Knicks Go, last seen finishing fourth in the Saudi Cup on Feb. 20, will return in an unlikely spot on May 31 – the Grade 3 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park. Trainer Brad Cox announced Knicks Go’s next go-moment during a National Thoroughbred Racing Association […]

Mandaloun ran a career race in his half-length Kentucky Derby loss to Medina Spirit. That effort explained why trainer Brad Cox shelved the Into Mischief colt from the May 15 Preakness Stakes. (Image: Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)

Cox Charges Mandaloun, Caddo River Passing Up Preakness Stakes

Despite the Preakness Stakes providing Brad Cox’s entrée into the Triple Crown’s rarefied air, the trainer announced on Thursday that Mandaloun and Caddo River will bypass the May 15 race. The pair join stablemate Essential Quality on the sidelines for the 1 3/16-mile second jewel of the Triple Crown. 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 […]