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Trainer Brad Cox reaches 2000 wins


Trainer Brad Cox after winning the 2022 Eight Belles Stakes with Matareva
Date: 2/18/2023

Trainer Brad Cox, a 42-year-old native of Louisville, Kentucky, reached the 2,000 win milestone in the fifth race, a $70,000 maiden special weight at Fair Grounds on Saturday February 18, 2023 with 1-2 favorite and first time starter Bishops Bay. The 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo was ridden by Florent Geroux for owners Spendthrift Farm, Steve Landers Racing, Martin Schwartz, Michael Dubb, Ten Strike Racing, Tim Bakke, Titletown Racing, Kueber Racing, Big Easy Racing, Winners Win, Michael Caruso, and breeder WinStar Farm. He came into the day with 1,997 wins, but didn't waste any time, taking the second and fourth races on the card to get to 1,999 before reaching the milestone in the next race. He got win number 2001 with Angel of Empire in the Risen Star Stakes (G2), the last race on the card.

Trainer Brad Cox after winning his 2000th race at the Fair Grounds.

Cox started working in racing under trainers Burk Kessinger, and Jimmy Baker. Later he became the assistant trainer under Dallas Stewart.  Brad started his first horse in 2004, getting his first win with One Lucky Storm at Turfway Park on December 4.

After the 2000th win he said, "I knew we were getting close a couple of races back, and I'm glad to give it over with. Honestly, I just wanted to get it over with. We've got some live shots later in the day so we're hopeful to keep it rolling. I want to thank the team, the owners, and the horses. It's been a great run and it's been a long road. I'm glad to have two colts (Bishops bay and Angel of Empire) who showed up here and ran well, I'm proud of both. I think they have bright futures." Asked about fellow trainer Steve Asmussen who is on the verge of reaching the unprecedented 10,000 win plateau, Cox said, "It's an amazing number that Steve is about to hit. I have no shot of catching him. He works as hard as anybody. To do what we do every day, trying to develop horses, it's a tough game. To do it for as long as he has, as well as he has, it's amazing."

Trainer Brad Cox with 2021 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Knicks Go.

Among his many career achievements which inevitably will get him into the Hall of Fame, he won the Eclipse Award as North America's Outstanding Trainer in both 2020 and 2021. In 2021 he won 2/3 of the Triple Crown, winning the Kentucky Derby with Mandaloun, months after the fact when first place finisher Medina Spirit was disqualified, and then the Belmont with Essential Quality. In the Breeders' Cup he has nine wins, two of whch were by Knicks Go in the 2021 Classic and the 2020 Dirt Mile. Most recently he trained 43-1 upset winner Caravel in the 2022 Turf Sprint. Knicks Go is far and away his best horse, earning over $8.5 million, followed by Monomoy Girl winner of almost $4.8 million

Trainer Brad Cox after winning the 2021 Belmont Stakes with Essential Quality.
including the 2020 Breeders' Cup Distaff, and Essential Quality, winner of $4.7 million including the 2021 Belmont and the 2019 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

At time of writing (February 19, 2023) Cox has a record of 2,002 wins, 1,411 seconds, and 1,112 thirds in 7,906 starts, with purse earnings of over $136 million.

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