Monomoy Girl ‘Huge For Our Career’: Brad Cox Two Wins Shy Of 1,000 Victories

Arguably one of the nation’s fastest rising stars, Louisville native Brad Cox is two wins away from a major professional milestone: 1,000 career victories.

Cox, 38, is not far removed from his time as an assistant to trainer Dallas Stewart and has quickly soared to the top of the leading trainers in the nation by recording 671 wins in less than four years, nearly 70 percent of his career win total.

“I’m very happy with what our team has been able to accomplish recently,” Cox said. “Obviously there are some major races out there we still want to win. A Kentucky Derby would be nice.”

Cox grew up less than two miles from the Churchill Downs backstretch and graduated from Iroquois High School. It didn’t take long for the lifelong Kentucky Wildcats fan to have his sights set on becoming a top trainer.

“I remember going to the track with my dad (Jerry) when I was a kid,” said Cox, who is a father of three sons. “I always enjoyed horse racing and in high school was when I really decided I wanted to become a trainer. My dad liked coming to the track but I didn’t grow up on the backstretch like many trainers. I grew up friends with trainer Bobby Radcliffe’s son (Rob) and we would come to the track as kids.”

Cox began his career as a hot walker and soon elevated to Stewart’s assistant before starting his own stable in 2004. One of the early successes in Cox’s career was when he teamed with claiming conglomerate Midwest Thoroughbreds as their private trainer. However, this path took Cox down several speed bumps to begin his career.

“We were down to two horses at one point when (Midwest) moved their horses,” Cox said. “It was crazy but I never tried to let myself get too down and set the goal of claiming a horse each week to build back up.”

Cox has a 27-percent win rate in 2018 with 218 victories, the highest mark in his 15-year career. One of the horses that vaulted Cox to one of the top trainers in the nation is Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) winner Monomoy Girl.

“She means a lot to us,” Cox said. “She’s huge for our career and the barn. We’ve never been to these type of places that she’s taken us. It means a lot to a lot of people. Horses like Monomoy are a big part of the operation but you have to have the staff to be able to be successful. I have some great assistants that I trust and rely on. I think that’s a major key as well to have a team to back you up.”

Cox will have to wait until at least Saturday to win his 1,000th race with only one entrant on Friday at Fair Grounds but has six horses entered Saturday across Aqueduct, Fair Grounds and Churchill Downs.

“Hopefully we can get lucky and Mylady Curlin can win Race 9 and Mr. Misunderstood or Big Changes can be No. 1,000 in the River City.”

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