(Knicks Go / Photos by Holly M. Smith)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade I) champion Knicks Go is set to return to Churchill Downs on Tuesday evening along with several other of his stablemates from the Brad Cox barn.
Owned by Korea Racing Authority, Knicks Go is scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to Indianapolis before vanning two hours south to Churchill Downs. The flight is scheduled to land in Indianapolis at 6:30 p.m. (all times Eastern) and should arrive to Cox’s Churchill Downs Barn 22 at approximately 9 p.m.
“He ran an extraordinary effort in the Classic,” Cox said. “We’re very proud of him and his campaign this year. Things really worked out the way we planned. It means a lot to our team and his owners to win this race.”
Joining Knicks Go on Tuesday’s flight is Classic third-place finisher Essential Quality along with Bubble Rock, Juju’s Map, Ready to Purrform and Turnerloose.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships have been held at Del Mar twice and the Classic has been won each time by a locally based horse: Knicks Go and Gun Runner in 2017.
Local trainers Steve Asmussen and Wayne Catalano also enjoyed success at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Asmussen’s 2-year-old filly Echo Zulu romped in Friday’s $2 million Juvenile Fillies (GI) while Catalano’s Aloha West defeated Dr. Shivel in Saturday’s $2 million Sprint (GI) by a scant nose.
“This victory was the pinnacle of my career,” Catalano said following the race.
The 65-year-old trainer has trained less horses recently and his usual full barn at Churchill Downs has only four horses. Catalano also keeps a string of horses at Keeneland where Aloha West is scheduled to return Wednesday. Aloha West’s victory in the Sprint was Catalano’s 2,931th as a trainer. He sports a trio of other Breeders’ Cup victories with Stephanie’s Kitten (2011 Juvenile Turf), She Be Wild (2009 Juvenile Fillies) and Dreaming of Anna (2006 Juvenile Fillies).
Echo Zulu was Asmussen’s eighth Breeders’ Cup victory. He previously won with Mitole (2019 Sprint), Gun Runner (2017 Classic), Untapable (2014 Distaff), Tapizar (2012 Dirt Mile), Regally Ready (2011 Turf Sprint), My Miss Aurelia (2011 Juvenile Fillies) and Curlin (2007 Classic).
The North American all-time leading conditioner now has a career-best mark in purse earnings of $27,807,020 – about $400,000 more than he had in 2019. He trails fellow Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher by about $46 million to become the all-time leader in purse earnings.
PDJF BENEFIT FRIDAY NIGHT AT VFW – A benefit for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at the V.F.W. Post 6182 across the street from Churchill Downs at 992 Longfield Ave. in Louisville. There will be guest jockey bartenders, live music from the Stormin Norman Bluegrass Band, food, 50/50 games and prizes.
FREE CHURCHILL DOWNS CALENDAR ON SATURDAY – A free 2022 Churchill Downs Calendar sponsored by Humana will be given to the first 5,000 guests in attendance on Saturday, Nov. 13. The colorful calendar features major event listings and vivid and memorable images from the Kentucky Derby and around the historic racetrack.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Sunday at Churchill Downs with a first post of 1 p.m. There was a $60,706 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 in Races 5-10. … Sunday was Military Appreciation Day with free admission or a discounted $29 ticket to Skye Terrace for active and retired members of the U.S. armed services. … After dark days on Monday and Tuesday, racing will resume Wednesday-Sunday with daily first posts of 1 p.m. … Saturday’s program will feature the $300,000 Dream Supreme and a rematch between multiple graded stakes winners Bell’s the One and Sconsin. Entries for Saturday’s card will be drawn Wednesday. … A memorial service for late jockey Miguel Mena will take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Louisville. The visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday at Ratterman Funeral Home in East Louisville. … First Responders Day with free admission or a discounted $29 ticket to Millionaires Row for active first responders is Sunday, Nov. 14. … The victory by Necker Island in Saturday’s $300,000 Bet On Sunshine gave jockey Mitchell Murrill his first Churchill Downs stakes win. … For more information about the Fall Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com.