Knicks Go, a four-time Grade 1 winner and winner of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), will stand stud at Taylor Made Stallions at the conclusion of his racing career, the farm announced on Oct. 18.
Campaigned by Korea Racing Authority, Knicks Go is currently the top-ranked older horse on the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll as he prepares for his start in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6. A stud fee will be announced after the Breeders’ Cup.
“The KRA’s goal was to buy and race in the U.S. with an eye toward developing stallions,” said Jun Park, racing manager for the KRA’s United States stable. “As his name suggests, Knicks Go is a horse that was selected by a genome selection program called K-Nicks, which was designed to help select optimally excellent racehorses and stallions. To have done this for such a short time and to already have a multiple Grade 1 winner like Knicks Go is very gratifying. We are excited to stand him at Taylor Made, and we look forward to his next career as a stallion.”
An earner of $5,553,135 thus far in his racing career, Knicks Go is a Grade 1 winner from eight to nine furlongs and has run triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures of 113, 111, 108 (twice), 107, and 104, all in top company.
With his blend of speed and stamina, Knicks Go has recorded two track records at Keeneland, one of them in winning last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile where he sizzled a mile in 1:33.85. He also established a new course standard in his prep for the Dirt Mile, winning an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles by 10 1/4 lengths in a brisk 1:40.79.
Knicks Go broke his maiden on debut in July of his 2-year-old season, winning wire-to-wire by 3 1/2 lengths. He went on to capture the 2018 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, running his rivals off their feet with a 5 1/2-length romp and finished second to eventual divisional champion Game Winner in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Heading into the Breeders’ Cup, Knicks Go sits atop the handicap division in the wake of his victory in the Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in August by 4 1/2 lengths, defeating Grade 1 winners Maxfield and Silver State with a 111 Beyer. The 5-year-old simply crushed his rivals by 10 1/4 lengths in his prior start, taking the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows in July, earning a career-best 113 Beyer.
In the $400,000 Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill Downs on Oct. 2, Knicks Go won by four lengths geared down at the wire in his final prep for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Among Knicks Go’s signature wins was a record-setting triumph in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland. With regular rider Joel Rosario aboard, Knicks Go assumed his customary position at the head of the field shortly after the break. He blitzed through fractions of :21.98, :44.40, and 1:08.25 before reporting home a facile winner in the sizzling time of 1:33.85 with a Beyer of 108.
“He really is what a horse is supposed to be,” trainer Brad Cox said of Knicks Go. “They are supposed to get faster and stronger as they get older. He’s a little bit of a throwback horse as far as accomplishing things early and then still being in training three years later.”
Knicks Go’s most lucrative victory to date came in this year’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park. In his seasonal debut and his first start since winning the Dirt Mile, Knicks Go sped to the front at the break of the 1 1/8-mile event and maintained a clear advantage throughout, ultimately scoring by 2 3/4 lengths.
He has won seven of his last nine starts with his only defeats during that span coming when he finished fourth in both the $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 20 and the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) on June 5.