Knicks Go solidified his spot as the top handicap horse in training with another dominating performance in Saturday's $1 million Whitney S. (G1) at Saratoga.
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The 5-year-old son of Paynter took the historic 1 1/8- mile contest by 4 1/2-lengths in his usual front-running style. Already the winner of this year's $3 million Pegaus World Cup Inv. (G1) and Cornhusker H. (G3), Knicks Go has how collected $5,368,995, as well as Grade 1 wins in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and Breeders' Futurity (G1), for the Korean Racing Authority.
Knicks Go's accomplishments have put Paynter far and away atop the Fifth-Crop Sire list with more than $8 million in progeny earnings, more than double his nearest competitor. He also is sixth on the 2021 General Sire list.
Knicks Go and the filly Swiss Skydiver matched strides out of the gate, but Knicks Go moved swiftly to the front going into the first turn to open up by four lengths in the first quarter-mile. He held a wide margin down the backstretch to get the half in :46.76. Swiss Skydiver crept within two lengths midway on the turn, but Knicks Go had plenty left in the tank and drew clear once again. He was all alone in the stretch to beat a distant Maxfield by 4 1/2-lengths in 1:47.70 on a fast track.
"Maybe down the lane at the sixteenth pole, I thought, 'Oh wow. He's going to win this thing' and at that point I was thinking 'What a horse. What a performance.'" winning trainer Brad Cox said. "For him to go 46-and-change and spread out down the backside and get away from them and just kick on at the eighth pole and have to fight off some really good challengers. This was an incredibly deep group of horses and I'm very proud of the effort by my horse today."
As past of the Breeders' Cup “Win and You're In” series, the Whitney victory earned Knicks Go a free spot in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).
According to Cox, Knicks Go will have one more start prior the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar in early November.
"It's going to be a timing thing not a graded thing or purse thing," said Cox.