Cox increasing Breeders’ Cup squad

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Sep 4, 2020; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Brad Cox holds up the trophy after Shedaresthedevil won the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Trainer Brad Cox intends on almost doubling the size of his potential Breeders’ Cup representation at next month’s two-day Keeneland extravaganza.

The handler plundered the Grade 1 Juvenile Fillies’ with British Idiom and the Grade 1 Filly & Mare Sprint with Covfefe a year ago at Santa Anita, an impressive return having saddled only five runners.

This year he plans on having at least nine runners at Keeneland on November 6th and 7th at America’s World Championships.

Such a tally would leave Cox on the same number as Aidan O’Brien fielded last season in having more Breeders’ Cup runners than any other trainer at that meeting.

The Irishman was winless with his nine contenders, though Chad Brown ran eight, winning three times.

As of this week, Cox predicts his Breeders’ Cup prospects to include Monomoy Girl in the Longines Distaff, while Factor This and Beau Recall are set for the FanDuel Mile. Arklow is being prepared for the Longines Turf, Essential Quality will go in the TVG Juvenile and Aunt Pearl and Emro are being prepped for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Abarta is in the Juvenile Turf and Knicks Go is a planned runner in the Dirt Mile.

Cox is confident that his stable stars now see Keeneland as a ‘home away from home’ venue, following a successful time there last week.

“We felt like Fall Stars weekend was kind of a preview of what is to come Breeders’ Cup Day,” he said of his stable’s results at the Lexington track opening weekend.

“We feel comfortable here at Keeneland. Churchill is home and Keeneland is kind of our second home. I’m hoping we can have a big few days here.”

The Distaff will be the final start of Monomoy Girl’s and Cox has elected not to send Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil and graded stakes winner Bonny South for that same contest.

Monomoy Girl was the champion three-year-old filly of 2018, landing the Kentucky Oaks and the Distaff, and has won all three starts in this campaign – most recently the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs last month.

Her 2018 Distaff success was Cox’s Breeders’ Cup breakthrough moment and the wins for British Idiom and Covfefe last time out at Santa Anita have got the needle rising for the trainer and his team.

Monomoy Girl missed 2019 with a variety of niggling problems but getting back to the Breeders’ Cup has long since been a target and seeing her put the seal on a fantastic racing career with another success in this company would, says Cox, mean the world.

“Once we got (her) back to the races, the goal was to get her back to the Grade 1 level, and she has returned and been successful,” he said.

“It would be great to win a Grade 1 at the Breeders’ Cup level after what’s she’s been through the last couple of years. It would be huge, to say the least. Words couldn’t and wouldn’t describe what it would mean to our camp.”

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