Breeders’ Cup Barn Tour with Brad Cox

November 3rd, 2023

The Brad Cox barn comes to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships loaded for success once again.

The Louisville native has eight starters spread between the two days, including Champagne Stakes (G1) winner Timberlake in Friday’s Juvenile and Caravel attempting to win a second Turf Sprint (G1) on Saturday. With entries in the Distaff, the Classic, the Dirt Mile, and the Filly and Mare Sprint as well, Cox could see the winner’s circle multiple times this weekend.

Brad Cox’s coterie of Breeders’ Cup entries also consists of Zozos in the Dirt Mile (G1), Matareya in the Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), and then three starters in the Distaff (G1), Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) winner Wet Paint; Idiomatic, winner of the Spinster Stakes (G1) in her last start; and Beholder Mile (G1) scorer A Mo Reay. Saudi Crown in the Classic (G1) rounds out the barn’s Breeders’ Cup starters. 

Let’s look at Cox’s thoughts on his horses and Santa Anita itself ahead of the big weekend.

Share some highlights of your starters this weekend?

Obviously Saudi Crown's in the Classic. He's doing great. Timberlake runs Friday in the Juvenile. It's our only runner on Friday, but he just schooled. He's set up for a big effort.

Idiomatic, Wet Paint, A Mo Reay all go in the Distaff. They're all doing well. They all have different styles, so they shouldn't get in each other's way.

Matareya in the Filly and Mare Sprint, she's doing great. Tough race, but she's doing great. Happy with how she's trained up.

Caravel, we're getting her hopefully back on firm turf, so that's going to hopefully propel her forward. She obviously has to break well and be involved.

Zozo's Dirt Mile looks good on paper. I mean, he has to break and kind of break well and do some running early to establish a good early position. And if he does, I think with the shorter stretch should help him here.

Can you give us a little insight about how the track is playing? Have you been out on the turf? How does it compare with your home base at Churchill Downs? 

I don't really know how it compares, to be quite honest. I don't normally breeze; we normally just ship out here to run and we've had luck doing it here at Del Mar so we’re doing that here. No riders on top of the horses when they're schooling in the paddock.

We feel like we have an idea on how to get out here and be successful. You obviously got to ship the right horse and be in the right spot and things. You have to have some racing luck. So I'm not concerned with horses transferring surface.

Is there a horse other than your own, obviously, that you've been keeping an eye on that you really like to look at?

Not really. I've been pretty focused and zeroed in on our horses and what they're doing and how they're training and the mornings back and forth to the track. But, no, I haven't. We start training at 5:00 a.m. Here, which is dark for the first hour, hour and a half. So just mainly focused on our horses.

Is there a race you're ready to put $2 on? Like, one race that you really would bet if you could?

Not really. I have enough at stake with trying to win the races.