Knicks Go earned a ticket to next month's Breeders' Cup with a dominant victory in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders' Futurity S. (G1) at Keeneland, leading all the way to score by 5 1/2-lengths.
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The stylish gray colt is the first Grade 1 winner for Paynter, who is a top-five Second-Crop sire by earnings and black type winners and wins.
Breaking from the middle post in the 13-horse field, Knicks Go was wisely sent to the lead by his rider Albin Jimenez. He led the field through fractions of :47.59 for the half-mile and 1:12.68 for six furlongs. Cut loose at the top of the stretch, Knicks Go drew away as the field faded further back with each stride. The winner stopped the timer in 1:44.23 on a fast track.
“He’s always breezed like a good horse. His first race was good and then he never got in a rhythm in his next two,” said trainer Ben Colebrook of the colt's prior two stakes starts. “I could see him on the backside, his ears were just going. I could tell he was going to run big.”
Knicks Go, owned by KRA Stud Farm, upped his earnings to $330,515 and record to 2-0-1 in four starts. Bred by Angie Moore, he is the fourth foal out of two-time stakes winner Kosmo's Buddy.
The Futurity is part of the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In program, ensuring him a starting position in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs.