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Knicks Go dominates to win Breeders’ Cup

Knicks Go took the early lead and never let up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, winning the $US6 million showpiece in Del Mar, California, in dominant fashion.

Jockey Joel Rosario piloted the Whitney Stakes winner through a speedy nine-horse field to deliver trainer Brad Cox his first Breeders’ Cup Classic win on Saturday, beating Bob Baffert’s controversial Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit by 2-3/4 lengths.

“He just likes to run,” Rosario said after the race. “He’s just like, ‘Come on, chase me.’ I just had my head down, he was doing the work.”

It was a fourth straight victory for Knicks Go and strengthened claims to win the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year.

Cox praised the performance from a “tremendous horse,” who was among the favourites, but said his allegiances were torn, with another of his horses, Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality, finishing third.

“This was a tough race for me to watch,” he said. “As they’re coming down the lane, I’m wanting Essential to get there and kind of almost have them duke it out.”

But there was no such challenge for Knicks Go, who never conceded the lead through the 1-1/4-mile race.

“These are like your kids and when they face each other – it’s tough to watch one get defeated,” said Cox.

Hot Rod Charlie, another favourite who finished second at the Belmont Stakes this year and third at the Kentucky Derby, settled for fourth place.

Express Train withdrew from the race Saturday morning due to swelling in his right hock.

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