Knicks Go took the lead out the gates and would not surrender that advantage as Joel Rosario and Brad Cox won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar.
America’s biggest race was arguably won at the start as Knicks Go stole a length at the front, allowing Rosario to be able to control the pace from that point.
With an uncontested lead, he was briefly challenged by Hot Rod Charlie down the inner but Rosario had enough horse underneath him to pull away again at the finish, beating Medina Spirit for Bob Baffert by three lengths.
Essential Quality, also for Brad Cox, finished in third after never really challenging the winner, with Hot Rod Charlie back in fourth.
Cox said: “I didn’t know what the tactics from the others would be, but what I do know is that speed is dangerous.
“The way he was doing it, he was able to clear off a touch down the back, and the way the others were bunched told me he wasn’t doing too much.
“He’s built for American racing in the dirt and I’m hopeful he can pass that on because he has everything it takes to be a stallion. Tough and durable and extremely sound. I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished this year.
“Training horses is demanding – it’s like being a football coach, you need your horses to perform and it’s always back to work. But I have two boys that are involved and may train one day. We’re trying to set something up for them.
“We will enjoy this but it will definitely be back to work in the morning.”
Speaking after the race, jockey Rosario said: “He’s really fast and he just wanted them to chase him.
“It seemed really easy through the race for him and he was in a great rhythm. He’s amazing and just goes faster and faster.”