Brad Cox felt plenty of pride in reflecting back on a Breeders’ Cup meeting that witnessed him tying the record of four wins at America’s great racing extravaganza.
Cox opened the Keeneland meeting with Aunt Pearl in the Juvenile Fillies and Essential Quality in the Juvenile on Friday and was back for more come Saturday, winning the Dirt Mile with Knicks Go and the Distaff with Monomoy Girl, who also won that race for him in 2018.
It was a landmark haul for the trainer, equalling the total earned by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella at the 2003 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
Of course, Mandella achieved his four-timer when the Breeders’ Cup was just seven races held over one day, but that couldn’t take the shine off Cox’s achievements in 2020.
“I guess realistically, they are incredibly hard races to win. Everyone in the business knows that,” Cox told reporters. “But I would have said two possibly (Breeders’ Cup races he expected to win this year). We had some horses who were heavily favoured — obviously Monomoy Girl was bet down pretty heavily, and Knicks Go they bet pretty heavily.
“It was just such a great setup for [Knicks Go],” Cox continued. “The two turns, the short stretch, and he loves Keeneland. It was just a fantastic setup for him.”
After winning the Distaff in 2018, a mild bout of colic saw Monomoy Girl missing the entirety of 2019.
Cox got her back to full fitness and she has rewarded him with a perfect 4-4 record in 2020, culminating in regaining the Distaff crown after a perceived duel with Preakness winner Swiss Skydiver failed to materialise.
Monomoy Girl went up for sale at Keeneland following her win and Cox feels it is likely she will continue to race, maybe even this year, with his mind already casting forward to Del Mar in 2021.
Monomoy Girl has placed herself in the picture for Horse of the Year honours, admits Cox, though he isn’t getting too worked up on that front.
“She’s done nothing wrong,” Cox said. “She’s accomplished a lot this year. That’s up to the voters. Depending on who buys her, you could see her again this year or maybe next year.
“We’re just going to keep our head down and keep going. I told someone this morning, now we have to start preparing for Breeders’ Cup 2021.”