Prospect Watch: Cox trains 3 of 6 juveniles making debuts

Prospect Watch: Cox trains 3 of 6 juveniles making debuts
Photo: Ben Breland / Eclipse Sportswire

The second week of the September meet at Churchill Downs brings many deep, maiden special weights for 2-year-olds.

Two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox is well represented in the entries. In fact, half the juveniles we’re featuring in this week’s edition of Prospect Watch are trained by Cox.

Click here for Churchill Downs entries and results.

Here are six well-bred youngsters slated to debut at Churchill Downs:


Churchill Downs race 5: Maiden special weight, seven furlongs, 2:45 p.m. EDT

No. 2 Top Gun Rocket

2-year-old colt

Pedigree: Into Mischief–Rocket Twentyone, by Indian Charlie

Purchase price: Not available

Trainer: Riley Mott

As a son of four-time leading North America sire Into Mischief out of Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3) winner Rocket Twentyone, Top Gun Rocket is a full-brother to 10-time stakes winner Frank’s Rockette. Top Gun Rocket’s pedigree is geared toward speed, and the bevy of bullet workouts he’s posted over the Churchill Downs Trackside training center suggest a debut victory may be in the offing.

No. 9 Masmak

2-year-old colt

Pedigree: Vino Rosso–Nite in Rome, by Harlan’s Holiday

Purchase price: $475,000

Trainer: Brad Cox

A son of champion and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso, Masmak was produced by Nite in Rome, whose previous foals include John A. Nerud (G2) winner Three Technique and two-time stakes winner Stan the Man, who placed in a quartet of graded stakes. This is a pedigree that blends speed with stamina, stamping Masmak as an exciting prospect for Cox.

Churchill Downs race 7: Maiden special weight, seven furlongs, 3:50 p.m. EDT

No. 5 Dragoon Guard

2-year-old colt

Pedigree: Arrogate–Filimbi, by Mizzen Mast

Purchase price: Not available

Trainer: Brad Cox

Dragoon Guard is a Juddmonte homebred through and through. His sire, champion and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate, was campaigned by Juddmonte. His dam, four-time Grade 1-placed Goldikova (G2) winner Filimbi, was owned and bred by Juddmonte. Dragoon Guard has twice posted bullet, five-furlong workouts at Churchill Downs, so keep a close eye on this Cox trainee. Dragoon Guard is bred to improve with maturity, so any talent he shows Friday could be a sign of good things to come.

No. 6 Sweet as Sin

2-year-old colt

Pedigree: Candy Ride–Giant Mover, by Giant’s Causeway

Purchase price: $410,000

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen is unveiling Sweet as Sin, a son of record-breaking Pacific Classic (G1) winner and successful sire Candy Ride out of Giant Move, a daughter of three-time leading North American sire Giant’s Causeway. Giant Move has already foaled Indiana Oaks (G2) and Iowa Oaks (G3) winner Family Tree plus Golden Rod (G2) winner and Kentucky Oaks (G1) runner-up Liora, so it’s safe to say Sweet as Sin is bred top and bottom to thrive running long. A bright future may await this $410,000 auction acquisition.

No. 7 Title Contender

2-year-old colt

Pedigree: Tapit–India’s Song, by Unbridled’s Song

Purchase price: Not available

Trainer: Brad Cox

A son of three-time leading North American sire Tapit, who has sired four winners of the Belmont Stakes, Title Contender was produced by India’s Song, a daughter of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and renowned sire Unbridled’s Song. The Tapit-Unbridled’s Song cross previously yielded two-time champion Unique Bella, so the pedigree of Title Contender is loaded with potential. The Gary and Mary West homebred has recorded a pair of bullet five-furlong workouts at Churchill Downs and warrants watching on debut.


Churchill Downs race 1: Maiden special weight, 1 1/16 miles, turf, 6 p.m. EDT

No. 11 Moshine

2-year-old filly

Pedigree: Uncle Mo–Moonshine Memories, by Malibu Moon

Purchase price: Not available

Trainer: Brendan Walsh

Moshine is bred to succeed from an early age. Sire Uncle Mo was voted champion 2-year-old male after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Champagne (G1), and dam Moonshine Memories won the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Chandelier (G1) at age 2. It’s a little surprising to see Moshine debuting in a turf route, but Uncle Mo is a source of stamina at stud, so perhaps Moshine can outrun her 12-1 morning-line odds.

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