By Bill Finley
Coming off a dominant win in the GI Whitney S., Horse of the Year contender Knicks Go (Paynter) will make his next start in the Oct. 2 GIII Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs, trainer Brad Cox confirmed Thursday. Knicks Go will be taking a step back in class in the $400,000 race, but Cox has taken that route before. Knicks Go warmed up for the Whitney with a 10 1/4-length romp in the GIII Prairie Meadows Cornhusker H. at Prairie Meadows.
“It's a mile-and-an-eighth race and he'll be coming right out of his own stall at Churchill,” Cox said of the Lukas Classic.
Knicks Go, who has not had a published work since the Whitney, will get back to business Friday morning at Saratoga.
“He's currently at Saratoga training over the Oklahoma training track,” the trainer said. “We will breeze him [Friday morning] at 6-6:30. It will be just an easy maintenance half-mile, nothing special. We will just let him stretch his legs a little bit. He will stay in Saratoga until the second week of September and then will be off to Churchill.”
Cox also had an update on Monomoy Girl (Tapizar), who rejoined his stable at Ellis Park Thursday morning. She has not started since finishing second in the GI Apple Blossom H. Apr. 17 at Oaklawn. Afterward, it was announced that she had been experiencing some minor muscle strains and hamstring
soreness. She was sent to WinStar Farm to recuperate.
“We're just going to gradually start back with her,” Cox said. “We'll start her off [Friday] with some short gallops and gradually increase the workload, as long as she allows us to press forward with her.”
Cox is not confident that Monomoy Girl can make the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff.
“To be real honest, I think she's really up against it when it comes to making the Breeders' Cup,” Cox said. “We're going to let her tell us, tell us what she's able to do over the next month or so. The first thing will be getting her back on the work tab. With her being an older horse, I don't think it will take a whole lot of works to ger her fit. But, she'll tell us over the next month or two if she's going to be able to make it back or not.”