Paynter got his first Breeders' Cup winner as a sire in dramatic fashion Saturday when Knicks Go went gate-to-wire in a track record-setting performance in the $1 million Dirt Mile (G1).
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Popping out of the gate and going right to the front, Knicks Go blazed through a quarter-mile in :21.98 and a half in :44.40. After three-quarters in 1:08.25, he was a head in front of Complexity, but soon dispatched him and drew off in the stretch to win by 3 1/2-lengths in 1:33.85 on the fast main track.
“He’s very fast and he loves Keeneland as well,” said winning trainer Brad Cox. “We picked the horse up last winter and he really loves it here. Joel [Rosario] did a fantastic job of asking him to be forwardly placed and he responded well. They went very quick and he was able to keep going. He’s a very aggressive horse, he loves to train. He’s just a very classy horse.”
Knicks Go, who won the Keeneland's Breeders' Futurity (G1) two years ago, in now 5-3-1 in 17 starts and has earned $1,348,995. He is owned by the Korea Racing Authority, who purchased the gray colt for $87,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling sale and plan on standing him at stud in Korea at the conclusion of his racing career.
Knicks Go was bred in Maryland by Angie Moore and is out of the two-time stakes winner Kosmo's Buddy. He is the 24th lifetime stakes winner for Paynter, who is the leading Fourth-Crop sire by progeny earnings, black type winners and black type horses.
Paynter will stand the 2021 season at WinStar Farm for $7,500 S&N.