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Cox’s Deep Bench of Kentucky Derby Prospects Grows


Coach Brad Cox is plotting subsequent strikes for a few of his military of 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby (G1) path.

Cox’s prospect record grew Jan. 1 when he despatched out the 1-2 finishers within the $250,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, Oak Garden Park‘s first of 4 Kentucky Derby factors races. closely favored Victory Formation co-owned by distinguished North Little Rock, Ark., businessman Frank Fletcher and Spendthrift Farm, remained unbeaten with a front-running three-length victory over Angel of Empire . Victory Formation (3-for-3) was making his stakes and two-turn debut.

“He is a reasonably sensible horse,” Cox mentioned throughout coaching hours Jan. 2 at Oaklawn. “I do know I’ve mentioned that a number of instances, however he actually is. He is a horse that does not overdo it. He isn’t too exhausting on himself, and I believe that is going to take him a great distance and, hopefully, permit him to get extra floor and, clearly, have an extended profession of racing.”

Cox mentioned Victory Formation appeared to exit the Smarty Jones in good condition bodily, including next-race plans are pending for the son of 2017 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner tapwrit . Cox mentioned Victory Formation is quickly scheduled to return to Honest Grounds Race Course & Slotsthe place he has been primarily based this winter.

Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby factors collection continues with the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 28, $1 million Insurgent Stakes (G2) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 25, and the $1.25 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at 1 1/8 miles April 1. Cox mentioned “it is too early” to inform if Victory Formation will return to Oaklawn for different Kentucky Derby factors races, notably the Arkansas Derby, a race Fletcher covets probably the most.


“I am nicely conscious that Frank wish to win the Arkansas Derby, however we’ll do what’s greatest for the horse and see if he takes us there,” Cox mentioned.

Cox mentioned next-race plans are additionally pending for Angel of Empire, who breezed twice final month at Oaklawn upfront of the Smarty Jones. Angel of Empire, by Basic Empire already owns two victories round two turns at Horseshoe Indianapolis. He ran his quickest race when stepping up at school over the weekend.

“I believe with extra floor, the higher for him,” Cox mentioned.

Victory Formation earned 10 factors towards beginning eligibility for the Kentucky Derby for his Smarty Jones victory. Angel of Empire acquired 4 factors. Based mostly on official rankings from Churchill Downs, Cox has six of the highest 15 horses on the newest Kentucky Derby leaderboard—No. 4 Jace’s Street (13 factors), No. 5 instantaneous espresso (12), No. 6 Victory Formation (10), No. 11 Logins (4), No. 12 verifying (4) and No. 15 Angel of Empire (4).

Cox additionally trains unbeaten Crown Bolt (by Bolt d’Oro ), blowout winner of the $100,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes at six furlongs Dec. 26 at Honest Grounds; Large Mischief (Into Mischief ), runner-up within the $400,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes Dec. 17 at Remington Park; Hit Present (Sweet Trip ), a pointy entry-level allowance winner at a mile Dec. 17 at Oaklawn; Tapit’s Conquest (carpet ), who broke his maiden at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 1 at Churchill Downs; and Tapit Footwear (Tapit), who broke his maiden at 1 1/16 miles Dec. 3 at Honest Grounds.

Picture: Coady Pictures

Brad Cox at Oaklawn Park

Cox mentioned he plans to start out Corona Bolt, Hit Present, and probably Jace’s Street within the Southwest. Large Mischief, Cox mentioned, is pointing for the Insurgent.

Cox, the reigning two-time Eclipse Award-winning coach, received the 2021 Kentucky Derby (through disqualification) with mandaloun and the 2021 Belmont Stakes with champion Important High quality . The latter launched his 3-year-old marketing campaign by profitable the Southwest.

This press launch has been edited for content material and elegance by BloodHorse Workers.


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