Knicks Go, a 6-year-old son of top-10 sire Paynter, was named the World’s Best Racehorse of the Year during Tuesday’s virtual ceremony from the National Horse Racing Museum in Newmarket, England, earning a ranking of 129.
The Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings are established by international handicappers according to the performance of the horses in top races.
“He's got a ton of class and he's a very intelligent horse,” said trainer Brad Cox during the ceremony. “He's been at this for a few years now. Some of the things that set Knicks Go apart from other very good horses is definitely his ability to shut off things mentally. He's aggressive training, but when he's finished training he takes a deep breath and relaxes. He's gotten better as he's gotten older mentally and I think that's one thing that really benefitted him this past season.”
Knicks Go capped his stellar season with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). His 2021 campaign also included wins in the Whitney S. (G1), Lukas Classic (G3) and Cornhusker H. (G3). His lifetime stats include seven graded stakes wins and $8.6 million in earnings
He began last year in January winning the Pegasus World Cup Inv. (G1), and will be looking to repeat in that race in what will be his final career start on this Saturday, Jan. 29. Pegasus post positions were drawn Tuesday, with Knicks Go drawing post 1 in the nine-horse field.
Paynter, who stands at WinStar Farm for $10,000 S&N, has gotten off to a hot start in 2022, already accounting for three stakes horses in the first two weeks of the year. Last year’s totals included eight stakes winners and progeny earnings of $13.8 million.