Cox, Sharp Still Dueling For Top Spot in Trainer Standings at the Fair Grounds

(Brad Cox, left, and Joe Sharp are still locked in a fierce battle for the top spot in the Fair Grounds’ Trainer Standings / Photos Courtesy of Hodges Photography & the Fair Grounds)

The dog fight, er, horse fight continues.

Since the meet began at the Fair Grounds, way back in November, there has been a duel commence between young trainers Brad Cox and Joe Sharp for  the top spot in the Trainer Standings in New Orleans. One day, it may be Cox — the Louisville native. The next, it may be Sharp, who hails form Lexington.

All the while, though, it has been a tussle.

And, after Sunday’s races were concluded, the wrestling match for the top spot continues. So far this meet, Cox has started 104 horses and has amassed a record of 23-24-21 and currently holds a slim, one-win lead over his counterpart.

Sharp, on the other hand, has started 125 horses, and has put up a stellar record of 22-15-17.

And, the two of them are also at the top of the pecking order when it comes to purses won this meet, as well. Cox has earned over $805,000 so far, while Sharp has put up $617,790.

And, the battle doesn’t seem that it will end any time soon. In fact, it could go all the way to the meet’s final race — which won’t come until March, nearly two months away.

In the third spot right now in terms of total races won this meet is Steve Asmussen, who has 17. Three wins farther back are Michael Stidham and Ron Faucheux with 14 wins each.

Here’s a look at the Top 25 Trainers so far this meet:

1Brad H. Cox104232411$805,61022%56%
2Joe Sharp125221517$617,79018%43%
3Steven M. Asmussen7317169$600,48023%58%
4Mark E. Casse431157$514,28026%53%
5Michael Stidham76141011$459,86518%46%
6Dallas Stewart38882$379,72021%47%
7Albert M. Stall, Jr.616176$351,67010%48%
8Thomas M. Amoss5512124$319,76022%51%
9Ron Faucheux4714311$316,98030%60%
10Gary M. Scherer401038$312,79025%53%
11Brendan P. Walsh38693$297,15016%47%
12Chris A. Hartman6091110$240,32015%50%
13Wayne M. Catalano33683$228,30018%52%
14Hugh H. Robertson25535$213,57020%52%
15W. Bret Calhoun67388$203,9704%28%
16J. Larry Jones27615$185,92022%44%
17Edward J. Johnston23554$175,43022%61%
18Bernard S. Flint18612$163,32033%50%
19Sam B. David, Jr.436112$161,45014%44%
20Karl Broberg49776$144,16014%41%
21James E. Hodges35575$141,11014%49%
22Corale A. Richards50736$136,88014%32%
23Louie J. Roussel, III23553$136,43022%57%
24Gregory D. Foley27382$135,51011%48%
25Steven B. Flint33722$134,08021%33%

(Stats Courtesy of Equibase)

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean