Bloodlines Presented By Diamond B Farm’s Rowayton: Knicks Go Serves As Rising Tide For His Connections

The Awesome Again stallion Paynter had an unusual result in the 2021 running of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 23. He had two sons starting in the race, and they finished as bookends to the field. Favored Knicks Go won the race by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:47.89, and graded stakes winner Harpers First Ride was essentially eased to finish last of the 12 racers.

The winner is one of four graded stakes winners among the 15 stakes winners to date sired by Paynter, winner of the Grade 1 Haskell in 2012. Also second in the Belmont Stakes to the highly regarded young stallion Union Rags (Dixie Union), Paynter has gotten horses of good speed among his better stock, including the unquestionably fast Knicks Go.

The latter has won his last four races, including the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, and he is among the best older horses in training. Following the gray horse’s victory at Gulfstream, his sire Paynter catapulted to the top of the leading sires list for 2021 with nearly $2.1 million in earnings this year, with last year’s leading sire Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday) lurking ominously in second. Third place on the leading sires list currently is Tapiture (Tapit), and it is not coincidental that Knicks Go and Tapiture’s leading earner, Jesus’ Team, were one-two in the Pegasus, just as they were in the Breeders’ Cup.

In phenotype, Paynter is quite like his sire, the Deputy Minister stallion Awesome Again. Both are medium-sized horses with quality and refinement, and they clearly take after the physical type of Awesome Again’s maternal grandsire, European champion Blushing Groom, more than Eclipse Award winner Deputy Minister, a towering figure of size and scope, allied with uncommon quality.

After surviving laminitis, Paynter came back to race at four but approached his previous form only with a second-place finish to subsequent Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) in the G1 Awesome Again Stakes named for Paynter’s famous father.

The bay horse went to stud in Kentucky at WinStar for an initial fee of $25,000 live foal, and in Paynter’s second book of mares, foals of 2016, was the mare who produced Knicks Go.

Bred in Maryland by Angie Moore, Knicks Go is out of the stakes-winning Outflanker mare Kosmo’s Buddy, who won a pair of stakes, the 2008 Maryland Million Turf Sprint and the Crank It Up Stakes, and placed second or third in a dozen more, earning $298,095.

A winner of five races from 37 starts, Kosmo’s Buddy was claimed by Moore’s Green Mount Farm for $40,000 out of her next-to-last start, when the mare finished third. She came back to race once more, finishing fourth in the 2010 Maryland Million Turf Sprint.

Sabrina Moore was co-breeder of the horses with her mother, recalling that the mare was claimed in her mother’s name because “this was all her dream.” As the breeding and racing operation developed, “I was so young that it was simpler for us to use my mom’s ID and all for the business.

“And as I grew up and became more involved in working with the horses, we decided to make Green Mount Farm a more commercial business. I became a partner in the breeding, including becoming a partner with breeding Knicks Go,” Sabrina Moore said. The Moores bred the first half-dozen foals out of the mare.

Knicks Go is the mare’s fourth foal. Kosmo’s Buddy has a gray 3-year-old colt by the good sire Broken Vow (Unbridled) who is unraced, has no 2-year-old, has a gray yearling filly by champion Justify (Scat Daddy), and is in foal for 2021 to Horse of the Year Ghostzapper (Awesome Again). Moore noted that the “Broken Vow is really nice and in training at Pimlico. He has a lot of substance, standing about 16 hands.”

When carrying Knicks Go, Kosmo’s Buddy was consigned to the 2015 Keeneland November sale but was bought back at $37,000. After Knicks Go won a maiden, Moore recalled that “agent Jun Park had called about buying her, and as a small breeder, you make money where you can.” So the Moores sold the hefty gray in a private transaction through the same agent who had helped pick out Knicks Go as a yearling for the KRA.

After the gray colt won his first Grade 1, the 2018 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, the new owner decided to send the mare to the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale, where she was bought back for $195,000 when she was listed as “Not Bred” in the catalog.

After that sale, Hanzly Albina said: “Nick Sallusto and I had noticed that she had been bought back. We negotiated and got her for a very good price” on behalf of Newtown Anner Stud LLC, which is the breeder of the Justify filly mentioned above.

Albina continued: “When we bought this mare, we knew we were never going to sell her. So it didn’t matter that she isn’t the tallest or most attractive individual herself. She’s a Grade 1 producer, and Newtown Anner is both a commercial and a racing operation; we try to offer all the yearlings at auction, but if we have one that doesn’t bring a reasonable sum at a sale, we’re happy to race on with it.”

In selecting a first mate for Newtown Anner’s new mare, Albina said, “I had intended to send her to Ghostzapper, but with Justify retiring, you only get one chance at the first year to a Triple Crown winner. The result is that we have a nice filly. From what I’ve seen of the mare’s foals, she translates the stallion through, and the Justify [yearling] has a lot of size, an extended hip, and is a very nice physical.”

In addition to sharing the gray color of her dam, the Justify filly has a gray half-brother who is one of the top horses in training in 2021.

When Knicks Go went through the ring for the first time at the 2016 Keeneland November sale as a weanling, he sold to Northface Bloodstock for $40,000 from the Bill Reightler consignment, as agent for Green Mount. The price for the colt was the seventh-highest for a weanling among the 24 sold by Paynter in 2016.

Ten months later, the gray colt went to the sales again with Woods Edge Sales and brought $87,000 (sixth among 67 yearlings sold by the sire) at the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sale, selling to the Korea Racing Authority. As I documented in an article about Knicks Go when he won the Breeders’ Futurity, the KRA purchased Knicks Go and a handful of other prospects as an experiment in selecting good athletes that might be stallion prospects.

In Knicks Go, there’s no question they have a winner.

The post Bloodlines Presented By Diamond B Farm’s Rowayton: Knicks Go Serves As Rising Tide For His Connections appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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