Homeracing

Speed lining up for Classic

Profile Picture: James Scully

October 7th, 2021

A spectacular winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) last fall, Knicks Go has recorded dominant wins in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) and Whitney S. (G1) at 1 1/8 miles this year. His main weapon is speed, and the gray five-year-old horse will attempt to carry it 1 1/4 miles in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar.

Knicks Go tuned up for the Classic with a sharp four-length win in the Oct. 2 Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill Downs. Joel Rosario rides the talented frontrunner for Brad Cox.

Speed captured the 2017 Classic at Del Mar, as Gun Runner led wire-to-wire in a convincing win. Unfortunately for Knicks Go supporters, recent prep races have produced an abundance of speed for the Classic.

In the Sept. 25 Pennsylvania Derby (G1), Hot Rod Charlie outgunned Midnight Bourbon to the lead from the starting gate and drew off an eye-catching victory. The three-year-old colt has something going for him: he’s gotten very fast for Doug O’Neill, and his two best races – the Pennsylvania Derby and a second in the Belmont Stakes (G1) – came when setting the pace.

Medina Spirit may have been up against it in the Pennsylvania Derby, but he was scratched and redirected to the Awesome Again S. (G1) at Santa Anita last Saturday. The three-year-old colt delivered a career-best performance leading all the way, scoring by a widening five-length margin, and his only chance next time is on the lead.

I thought Art Collector was pointing for the Dirt Mile last month, but he appears Classic-bound after dictating terms throughout in the Oct. 2 Woodward S. (G1) at Belmont Park on the lead. A winner of three straight stakes since being transferred to Bill Mott this summer, the razor-sharp four-year-old registered a 111 Brisnet Speed rating for the 1 1/2-length Woodward decision.

Hot Rod Charlie likes to be forward, Medina Spirit will be sending at the break, and Art Collector is a confirmed frontrunner. Knicks Go’s assignment in the Breeders' Cup Classic has become more difficult in recent weeks.

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