Paynter's brilliant 5-year-old Knicks Go took an early lead in Saturday's $3 million Pegasus World Cup Inv. (G1) and never looked back, rolling home a 2 3/4-length winner for his fourth consecutive victory.
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The winning streak includes a win in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), with the quartet of wins coming by a combined 24 lengths. Owned by the Korea Racing Authority, Knicks Go is 6-3-1 in 18 starts and has earned $3,088,995, easily making him Paynter's all-time leading earner.
Knicks Go, in post four for the 1 1/8-mile contest, was hustled to the lead by Joel Rosario as he made his way to the rail going into the first turn. Knicks Go maintained a 1 1/2-length lead while carving out some fast fractions of :22.90 and :46.16. He maintained the margin through six furlongs, then began to edge clear and was never threatened in the stretch as Jesus' Team and Independence Hall took the minor placings.
The final time was a very good 1:47.89 on the fast track.
“It’s a very prestigious race. I know it hasn’t been around that long, but when you look at past winners, it’s a very prestigious list of horses that have won it – world champions, actually, with Gun Runner and Arrogate,” trainer Brad Cox said. “They weren’t just national horses. They competed and won on the world stage, so it’s a big race.”
Besides his two most recent graded victories, Knicks Go won the Breeders' Futurity (G1) and was second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at two. He was bred by Angie Moore and is out of the two-time stakes winner Kosmo's Buddy.
After finishing 2020 as the number one Fourth-Crop sire, Paynter is standing this year for $7,500 S&N.