Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Double Has Cox ‘Looking Forward To Coming Up With A Game Plan For Next Year’

As he was preparing for another busy Breeders’ Cup day, trainer Brad Cox was also enjoying his two victories Friday with Essential Quality in the TVG Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and with Aunt Pearl (IRE) in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Cox reported both juveniles came out of their races well and he’s excited about next year with them, although no firm plans have been made yet.

“It was a fantastic day,” Cox said. “Both came out of their races really well. So far so good. Both are a little tired, but they have a right to be. They both appear to have bounced out of the races very well. We’ll see how things go moving forward. We don’t have anything picked out as far as races, but we’re looking very forward to coming up with a game plan for next year. These are both horses that have shown us a lot since we picked them up in the spring. It’s a long process getting to a point like this and it’s just a testament to the help, the assistants, the foremen, the exercise riders, the hotwalkers, the grooms, everyone we have in place. I’m just really proud of our staff and really appreciative of the opportunities owners have given us with really nice horses. Aunt Pearl was an expensive purchase out of Tattersalls last year and fortunate to have been given her. Obviously, Godolphin has a very well-bred homebred. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get to a stage like this. It’s very rewarding and we’re very fortunate.”

Aunt Pearl already had shown she was speedy in her two victories leading into the Juvenile Filles Turf and Cox said the plan all along with to use that weapon. As the 2-1 favorite she shot out of the gate and never looked back, winning by 2 ½ lengths.

“The closer we got to the race and once we had our post position, I just thought with where we were and where the other speed was, it didn’t make sense to take back or try to make her rate. Our plan was to take it to them. (Jockey) Florent (Geroux) and I talked and we both agreed we needed to get her out of the gate and into position. She was fortunate enough to do that and clear off going into the turn, which was huge. She really relaxed and showed her class. She shut off for him that second quarter and I think that’s probably where the race was won. She was able to settle that second quarter. Going into the second turn she was traveling beautifully. They were coming, but she obviously had gas left in the tank.”

Essential Quality, who now becomes one of the early favorites for the Kentucky Derby next year with his Juvenile win, has now shown how versatile he is with his third straight win and third different running style.

“Obviously, it was different style with Essential Quality, but not a different tactic,” Cox said. “We expected to break and be close, maybe third or fourth. We knew there was some speed in there. They kind of got away from him early. He took some dirt. (Jockey) Luis (Saez) did a good job getting him to the outside down the backside. He settled for him down the backside, but I was very concerned where we were. I think he may have been eighth. But, then I saw the 45 (for the half mile) and thought to myself these horses back up. Luis started knuckling down on him and I saw he was making a move. At the quarter pole was when I thought we had a shot. I was hoping that move he started making wasn’t going to flatten out. He’s a 2-year-old, still learning. It’s only the third race of his life. Once they straightened up, I started to feel more confident. Luis gave him a strong ride down the lane and he was able to get there. This horse has had three races and he’s been a different position every time. I think he showed his versatility and that he can overcome things. He’s good colt. He’s shown us from get go that he’s special. Very happy to be associated with him.”

Cox will have five more chances to add to his Breeders’ Cup tallies Saturday, including Monomoy Girl, the morning line favorite for the Longines Distaff.

The post Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Double Has Cox ‘Looking Forward To Coming Up With A Game Plan For Next Year’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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