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Cox Picks Keeneland as His Weekend Spot

October 1, 2020

Brad Cox is loaded for bear this weekend at Pimlico with runners in eight stakes, but he will be watching the action from Keeneland.

“There are four Grade 1s here (in which we are entered), so I figured I’d better stay here,” said Cox, whose Grade 1 activity at Keeneland begins with Travel Column in Friday’s Darley Alcibiades and concludes Sunday with Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Shedaresthedevil going in the Juddmonte Spinster. “I sent my son Blake and my assistant from Indiana Grand (Ricky Giannini) to Pimlico.”

Travel Column, owned by OXO Equine, will be trying to give Cox a second consecutive Darley Alcibiades victory following the 2019 triumph by Eclipse Award winner British Idiom.

“She worked with (Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity-G1 entrant) Essential Quality last Saturday (at Churchill Downs) and it was the first time I had worked them together,” Cox said about Travel Column. “They went five-eighths in :59 and 4 and galloped out three-quarters in 1:12 and 2. I have done as much as I can with them in the morning.

“Now they have to get good trips. There are solid horses in both races.”

Godolphin, which won the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity with Maxfield last year, owns Essential Quality.

In Saturday’s First Lady (G1) Presented by UK HealthCare, Cox sends out Beau Recall (IRE) for Slam Dunk Racing and Medallion Racing. Beau Recall is coming off a repeat victory in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) last month in which she ran down First Lady rival Newspaperofrecord (IRE).

“She has had two maintenance works since and is doing well,” Cox said. “I hope she gets the same setup that she had the last time.”

Cox has a 24 percent win rate in 2020 and ranks second among North American trainers with $11,945,923 in earnings. On Saturday, in addition to Keeneland and Pimlico, Cox will have runners at Belmont and Hawthorne.

His Pimlico invasion begins Friday afternoon with Owendale, the 2019 Stonestreet Lexington (G3) winner, in the Pimlico Special (G3). His biggest guns Saturday are Bonny South in the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and Factor This in the Dinner Party (G2).