KNICKS GO NAMED TOP MIDLANTIC-BRED OF 2020
For the second straight year, a Breeders’ Cup victory has propelled a horse to be named The Top Midlantic-bred of the year.
Knicks Go, winner of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in Keeneland track record time, earned the honor as the Top Midlantic-bred in polling conducted by Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred and The Racing Biz.
He was followed home in the poll by Harpers First Ride, 2019 Top Midlantic-bred winner Sharing, and Field Pass, as Maryland-breds took home the top four spots and seven of the top 10 overall.
“The horses on this list represent the best of Mid-Atlantic breeding, and they prove that Midlantic-breds can go anywhere and compete with any horses in the country,” said Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, which publishes Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred.
Knicks Go, a son of Paynter, raced three times in 2020, winning all three and earning more than $608,000. The first two of those victories came in allowance company before he tackled the Breeders’ Cup, a race in which he went off as the 9-5 post time favorite and won by three lengths in 1:33.85.
The victory was Knicks Go’s fifth from 17 career starts and pushed his earnings to $1,348,995. He’s won two graded stakes, both Grade 1 events at Keeneland. As a two-year-old in 2018, he won the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity before running second in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
“He’s very fast and he loves Keeneland, as well,” Brad Cox, who trains Knicks Go for owners Korea Racing Authority, said after the Breeders’ Cup. “We picked the horse up last winter and he really loves it here… He’s a very aggressive horse, he loves to train. He’s just a very classy horse.”
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Knicks Go is out of the Outflanker mare Kosmo’s Buddy. He was bred in Maryland by Angie Moore.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would get a horse like this so soon,” said Angie Moore’s daughter and partner, Sabrina Moore. “I’m really happy that he could send everybody on a ride, not just us. A big horse for Maryland is really cool.”
While Knicks Go was a clear top selection, taking nine of 14 first-place votes cast and appearing in the top four of every voter’s ballot, the race for second was considerably closer, with Harpers First Ride edging Sharing by a single point for second.
Harpers First Ride, also a son of Paynter, is out of the Tiz Wonderful mare Polyester. Trained by Claudio Gonzalez for MCA Racing, Harpers First Ride won seven of 11 2020 starts, including four stakes. His top win came in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special, and he also closed the year with back-to-back wins in Laurel Park stakes.
Bred by Sagamore Farm, Harpers First Ride was a $30,000 claim out of his maiden victory in September 2019.
Knicks Go and Harpers First Ride are scheduled to meet for the first time in Saturday’s Grade 1, $3 million Pegasus World Cup.
Sharing, the 2019 Top Midlantic-bred, ended up third this year. The Speightstown filly, also bred by Sagamore Farm, won two of five starts in 2020. The Graham Motion trainee lodged her top win of the season in the Grade 2 Edgewood Stakes in September at Churchill Downs and also ran second in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Field Pass was fourth on the list after winning three Grade 3 races in 2020. He was followed by Horologist, Largent, Laki, Street Lute, Hello Beautiful, and Jakarta. Field Pass tied for the national lead with five stakes wins in 2020, while Harpers First Ride and Street Lute had four each.
In addition to the seven Maryland-breds, the poll also included New Jersey-bred Horologist, Virginia-bred Largent, and Pennsylvania-bred Jakarta. Five of the top 10 were males, and five were females.
“We created the Top Midlantic-bred Poll to call attention to the quality of the horses bred in the region,” said Frank Vespe, owner and publisher of The Racing Biz. “It’s been exciting to see just how talented and accomplished they are.”
The monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is the only publication devoted to Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Racing Biz, an online publication, is the independent voice for mid-Atlantic racing and breeding.
The poll is conducted of media members and others involved in the Thoroughbred industry and restricted to horses that ran in 2020 and were bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Carolinas.
- BackTracks: Challedon, dominant in Maryland & beyondIn today’s BackTracks, Maryland-bred Challedon became the first two-time horse of the year after dominating 1939 and 1940.
- Knicks Go (MD) — Four-year-old colt by Paynter-Kosmo’s Buddy, by Outflanker. Trained by Brad Cox for Korea Racing Authority. Bred in Maryland by Angie Moore. Key 2020 wins: Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
- Harpers First Ride (MD) –Four-year-old gelding by Paynter-Polyester, by Tiz Wonderful. Trained by Claudio Gonzalez for MCA Racing Stable LLC. Bred in Maryland by Sagamore Farm. Key 2020 wins: Grade 3 Pimlico Special, Deputed Testamony Stakes, Richard W. Small Stakes, Native Dancer Stakes
- Sharing (MD) — Three-year-old filly by Speightstown-Shared Account, by Pleasantly Perfect. Trained by Graham Motion for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Stable. Bred in Maryland by Sagamore Farm. Key 2020 wins: Grade 2 Edgewood Stakes, Tepin Stakes
- Field Pass (MD) –Three-year-old colt by Lemon Drop Kid-Only Me, by Runaway Groom. Trained by Mike Maker for Three Diamonds Farm. Bred in Maryland by Mark Brown Grier. Key 2020 wins: Grade 3 Ontario Derby, Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes, Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks, Audubon Stakes, Dania Beach Stakes.
- Horologist (NJ) — Four-year-old filly by Gemologist-Cinderella Time, by Stephen Got Even. Trained by Bill Mott for There’s A Chance Stable, Medallion Racing, Abbondanza Racing LLC, Parkland Thoroughbreds, Paradise Farms Corp., and David Staudacher. Bred in New Jersey by Holly Crest Farm. Key 2020 wins: Grade 2 Beldame Stakes, Grade 3 Molly Pitcher Stakes.
- Largent (VA) — Four-year-old gelding by Into Mischief-Life in Seattle, by Unbridled. Trained by Todd Pletcher for Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Bred in Virginia by Lazy Lane Farms LLC. Key 2020 wins: Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes, Bert Allen Stakes, Edward P. Evans Stakes.
- Laki (MD) — Seven-year-old gelding by Cuba-Truthful Dutch, by Swear by Dixie. Trained by Damon Dilodovico for Hillside Equestrian Meadows. Bred in Maryland by Tom Michaels and Lorna Baker. Key 2020 wins: Grade 3 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, Oceanport Centennial Stakes.
- Street Lute (MD) — Two-year-old filly by Street Magician-Alottalute, by Midnight Lute. Trained by John Robb for Lucky 7 Stables. Bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Dr. Brooke Bowman. Key 2020 wins: Gin Talking Stakes, Maryland Juvenile FIlly Championship, Smart Halo Stakes, Small Wonder Stakes.
- Hello Beautiful (MD) — Three-year-old filly by Golden Lad-Hello Now, by Tiznow. Trained by Brittany Russell for Madaket Stables LLC, Albert Frassetto, Mark Parkinson, K-Mac Stable and Magic City Stables LLC. Bred in Maryland by Hillwood Stables LLC. Key 2020 wins: Safely Kept Stakes, Maryland Million Distaff.
- Jakarta (PA) — Five-year-old mare by Bustin-Stones-T J’s Stormy Wit, by Stormello. Trained by Michael Maker for Three Diamonds Farm. Bred in Pennsylvania by Arrowwood Farm, Inc. Key 2020 wins: Powder Bleak Stakes, Claiming Crown Distaff Dash.
Also receiving votes: Dr. Feelgood, Monday Morning Qb, Madam Meena, Pickin’ Time, Whereshetoldmetogo, Project Whiskey, Fiya, Double Crown, Bronx Beauty, Star of Night, Singlino, No Cents, Attachment Rate, What the Beep, Majestic Reason, Selflessly, Kenny Had a Notion
Note: All horses listed at their 2020 ages.
Participating Voters: Ted Black (freelance writer), Michael Campbell (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey), Joe Clancy (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cindy Deubler (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Linda Dougherty (freelance), Debbie Easter (Virginia Thoroughbred Association), Paul Espinosa (Charles Town Races), Rich Glazier (Delaware Park), Cricket Goodall (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Jim Hague (freelance), Nick Hahn (freelance), Carol Holden (West Virginia Breeders Classics), Tom LaMarra (Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Jeff Nations (freelance), Vinnie Perrone (freelance), Frank Petramalo (Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), John Piassek (freelance), Gary Quill (The Racing Biz), David Richardson (Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Brian Sanfratello (Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association), Sal Sinatra (Maryland Jockey Club), Chris Sobocinski (Delaware Park), Dan Tordjman (freelance), Frank Vespe (The Racing Biz), Bill Watson (freelance), Lydia Williams (freelance), Bobby Zen (freelance).