January 23, 2021
Hallandale Beach, Florida, USA
ACACIA COURTNEY: We'll come over here to the winners of the dirt race, Brad Cox, winning trainer, first and foremost, Knicks Go. What a performance, Brad. What were you thinking when you saw 22:46 at the start of the race as far as those fractions?
BRAD COX: Honestly, I was thinking it was much slower than the dirt mile. I felt comfortable. Joel had a hold of him. He was getting a little pressure from the outside, but he was pressured in the Breeders' Cup. So I felt that he was confident he would stay on.
ACACIA COURTNEY: A big performance for this horse, who's now 4 for 4 in your care. You had mentioned to me, Brad, that this race was kind of a stallion making type of race for this horse, had been the goal. How special is it to win it?
BRAD COX: It's a very prestigious race. I know it's not been around a long time, but the past winners, it's a short but very prestigious list of horses -- I mean, world champions, actually, between Gun Runner and Arrogate, the performances they put in. They were not just national horses, they were horses that competed and won on the world stage. It's a big race.
ACACIA COURTNEY: What were your thoughts as Knicks Go pulled away and seemed to be doing everything so easily?
BRAD COX: As a trainer, I guess you're just kind of nervous. Once you leg up the rider, it's kind of like hurry up and wait, right? So a sense of relief, I guess, a little bit. You want your horse to perform the way you watched them train and watched him breeze. You led them over here with confidence, and they kick away down the lane. It's a special moment. Obviously, a race like this is one you'll never forget.
ACACIA COURTNEY: A very special one. Big congratulations. Move next to winning jockey Joel Rosario aboard Knicks Go. Joel, tell me a little bit --
JOEL ROSARIO: Thank you.
ACACIA COURTNEY: Congratulations. Tell me a little bit about what it feels like to ride this horse.
JOEL ROSARIO: A very special horse. He just goes faster and faster. What a training job by Brad Cox. Thank you to Racing Authority for the opportunity and to Brad for letting me ride him. He's very special. You can see, he goes faster, like I said, faster and faster.
ACACIA COURTNEY: We had talked a little bit before the race about how the pace might play out. You did have some company early. Were there any nervous moments?
JOEL ROSARIO: I mean, I can see him. He just liked that. He really enjoyed what he was doing up there. I was never worried about somebody getting close to me because I know he was going to have a little more left in the end. Sometimes you realize it, but the way he was going, I thought he got something left.
ACACIA COURTNEY: Joel, if you could pass your microphone down this way, we'll come back to you. Pleased to be joined by Jun Park from the Korea Racing Authority. Big congratulations.
We do have a question for you, Jun, from Blood Horse. Brad touched on the stallion aspect. What does this win do for Knicks Go as a future stallion prospect?
JUN PARK: We came here with a couple of concerns. He never ran at Gulfstream, and then also a 1 1/8 mile race. Today he proved himself he can handle distance and then different racetracks. Then we're looking forward to continuing to race him the rest of the year, and then we will have a plan to retire for 2022. Hopefully, we can -- some nice place that we can get the nice support from the breeding mares.
ACACIA COURTNEY: We will get a chance to see him race through the rest of the year. That's good news. It seems like he's really just finding his best stride now.
JUN PARK: Yes. I think 4 for 4 with Brad, that clearly he comes up with the top horse on the older horse level division. So the Korea Racing Authority would like to have a stallion prospect in the United States.
ACACIA COURTNEY: Brad, one more question for you. What does it mean to train a horse like this?
BRAD COX: I mean, I think he's one of the top handicap horses in the country now. It means a lot. It means the top horse. It's what you get up every day, seven days a week, work long days for moments like this. Once again, very proud of the horse and our team, and I want to thank the Korea Racing Authority as well for the opportunity with this horse.
You know, just continuing to race again at the age of 5, even though he's a multiple Grade 1 winner. Hopefully, he's got a big year ahead of him.
ACACIA COURTNEY: That's all for me. A huge congratulations to our connections of Knicks Go and Colonel Liam on the Pegasus World Cup wins. Gentlemen, thank you all for your time coming up here for the press conference. Go enjoy the celebration. Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports