Knicks Go Dominates Field to Win 2021 Breeders Cup Classic Race

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 7, 2021

An exercise rider takes Knicks Go for a morning workout at Del Mar racetrack prior to the Breeders' Cup World Championship horse races Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, in Del Mar, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Knicks Go led wire-to-wire to win the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic in Del Mar, California on Saturday.

Breeders' Cup @BreedersCup

REPLAY: KNICKS GO wins the $6 Million <a href="https://twitter.com/LonginesEq?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LonginesEq</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BreedersCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BreedersCup</a> Classic! Congrats to all connections! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BC21?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BC21</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KeeGrad?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KeeGrad</a><br><br>J: Joel Rosario<br>T: Brad H. Cox<br>O: Korea Racing Authority<br>B: Angie Moore <a href="https://t.co/gjQGKcFKkM">pic.twitter.com/gjQGKcFKkM</a>

The 5-2 pre-race favorite got off to a strong start out of the gate and never looked back. Here's a look at how the entire field shook out.


Order of Finish (Morning Line Odds)

1. Knicks Go (5-2): Win ($8.40), Place ($6.20), Show ($4.00)

2. Medina Spirit (4-1): Place ($6.60), Show ($4.00)

3. Essential Quality (3-1): Show ($2.80)

4. Hot Rod Charlie (4-1)

5. Stilleto Boy (30-1)

6. Art Collector (8-1)

7. Tripoli (15-1)

8. Max Player (8-1)

Scratched: Express Train

The purse was $6 million (breakdown here via Breeders' Cup). The morning-line odds are via the Breeders' Cup website. Win/place/show payouts are via TVG.


News and Notes

Knicks Go grabbed the early lead as Tripoli took control of the rail.

Art Collector led the rest of the back by the quarter-mile mark. That was the case for the next half mile as every other horse tried to chase the leader down. Art Collector stayed within sight of Knicks Go during this time, but the rest of the field caught up to him in search of overtaking the eventual winner.

Hot Rod Charlie grabbed the rail down the stretch, and it appeared he could overtake Knicks Go. That wasn't the case, however, as Knicks Go finished as he started with a strong showing to earn the win by two-and-a-half lengths.

The only intrigue down the stretch was the fight for second. Medina Spirit finished as the runner-up by sprinting past Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie. Essential Quality took third, and Hot Rod Charlie finished fourth.

Knicks Go, which is owned by the Korea Racing Authority, is trained by Brad H. Cox. Angie Moore is the breeder.

Knicks Go's win may make some New York Knicks fans happy, but as Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier-Journal made clear, Knicks Go's name has nothing to do with the NBA team.

"Knicks is pronounced 'K-Nicks' by the horses' owners and refers to the Korea Racing Authority's program for selecting horses that includes nicking patterns and genetic testing. The 'K' is for Korea, with 'nicks' being a bloodstock term referring to selecting certain sire lines to breed to the daughters from other specified sire lines with the belief the combinations enhance the chance for success."

Knicks Go certainly found that success Saturday with his resounding victory.

With that, the horse took home $3,120,000 as part of the owner's purse share. Medina Spirit also garnered a seven-figure payday with a $1,020,000 figure.