Knicks Go Is Dominant At Del Mar

Image for illustration only - horses racing Knicks Go
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Knicks Go Is Dominant At Del Mar

With the 2021 racing calendar now staging its final events of the year, there was still time for some all-important races to be held in the month of November and for many, they do not come any more important than the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

A race that is steeped in recent history and with it being held every year since 1984, the previous 37 staging’s of the two-minute chase, have been able to create legends in both human and equine form alike.

While with many a legend being crafted in the past, the debate was centred around who would be added to the list in 2021 and with eight horses being entered in proceedings, the pool to pick a victor was rather small.

A pool that seemingly got smaller as the build up to the race continued and with a number of late withdrawals taking place before the event, Express Train would be the last to no longer be an active participant.

Which meant the betting sites only had to compile odds for an octet of thoroughbreds and with Knicks Go being made the favourite on the morning line odds, the Brad Cox-trained horse was being heavily backed by both pundits and punters alike.

While it was not only Knicks Go that was representing Brad Cox in the race and with Essential Quality being priced as second favourite, there was also a feeling that a Cox-led duopoly could well play out at the end of 120 seconds of racing.

Then again, it is never wise to ignore any horse that is trained by Bob Baffert and with this man being synonymous with the Breeders’ Cup Classic in recent years, Medina Spirit was also a horse that was well backed before the race began.

With those three being the most likely horses to win the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic, it was only Hot Rod Charlie who also had at least a semi-genuine chance of victory and with the stage then set, it was time to go racing.

A race that in essence can be described as blink and you will miss it and for those seven jockeys who were left in the wake of Joel Rosario aboard Knicks Go, all they could do was try their best in playing catch up.

A collective effort that can only be described as somewhat futile and with Rosario displaying his full ability, it would be enough to steer Knicks Go to an incredible win and one that would win more than $3m in the process.

$3.12m to be precise and with that share of the $6m purse going to Knicks Go’s Korea Racing Authority owners, it was a win that would be celebrated both in America and by those who had stayed up to watch the race in Asia.

Although it was Brad Cox who won the accolade of lead trainer, he would be denied a famous 1-2 at the Del Mar racecourse, as old foe Bob Baffert would manage to see his Medina Spirit offering finish second.

With Rosario taking the spoils for the Korea Racing Authority, he would do so by virtue of a two-and three-quarter length victory and with John Velazquez coming home in second, he would win just over $1m for his efforts.

The first two over the line, would subsequently mean that Brad Cox’s other offering would finish third and with Essential Quality showing an element of just that, it would have enough to get the better of Hot Rod Charlie.

Which meant those who operate the sportsbooks, were pretty much on the money and with the first four horses also being the first four in terms of the morning line odds before the race, there was absolutely nothing in the way of a shock.

While Knicks Go’s victory in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic would prove to be a fairy tale in more ways than one and with the thoroughbred now being set to stand at Taylor Made Stallions, it will mean a perfect end to his racing career.

A career that saw 10 victories recorded along the way and with five of them coming in 2021 alone, there was no doubt that Knicks Go was always going to be the dominant force in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and rightly so.

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