Fair Grounds: Cox Discusses Plans For Lecomte Winner Instant Coffee, Other 3YOs - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Fair Grounds: Cox Discusses Plans For Lecomte Winner Instant Coffee, Other 3YOs

Brad Cox

Trainer Brad Cox reports that Lecomte (G3) winner Instant Coffee and Silverbulletday 1-2 finishers The Alys Look and Chop Chop all came out of their races in good order. Fair Grounds' media team caught up with him in the track's barn area Sunday morning to discuss those runners as well a pair of other intriguing 3-year-olds.

Q: You have 11 of the 38 horses in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3. What challenges are involved in managing and maximizing so many good, young horses?

Cox: “The goal is to map out a plan to get as many of them into the Derby as possible. We've gotten off to a great start in these preps, but we need to keep it going. That can be challenging, but we've got a deep bench, and hopefully some of these horses can continue to improve. Let's see where they take us.

“I'm thinking with Instant Coffee, just leave him here. Risen Star (G2) then Louisiana Derby (G2), or maybe skipping the Risen Star and just going straight into the Louisiana Derby. We'd just prefer a little more than four weeks (between starts). It's just awfully demanding. You've got to be in these point races and the goal is to get to the Derby, and you've got to be fit and ready to run and doing well to accumulate points, but then you also have to have horse left over for the first Saturday in May. These are still young horses. They're changing and developing and growing. It's definitely an advantage to have multiples. You can get excited quick when you only have one or two. We're in a great position. So far it's been managed fairly well.

“We've got Jace's Road, Hit Show, and Corona Bolt pointed to the Southwest (at Oaklawn). We're set up in New York. We had a horse break his maiden there pretty impressively yesterday (Slip Mahoney, an Arrogate colt who like Instant Coffee also is owned by Gold Square LLC). He's a nice horse. We will probably point him for the Gotham [G3, March 4 at Aqueduct]. That's an avenue we can take, and Florida is always an option as well.”

The record for most horses started in a Kentucky Derby (G1) is five. Todd Pletcher has done it twice (2013 – the first year of the points system and in 2007) and Nick Zito (2005) and D. Wayne Lukas (1996) have each done it once.

Q: You opted for the [Saturday] allowance with [3-year-old] Tapit's Conquest [a maiden winner Oct. 1 at Churchill Downs, who was second by a neck Saturday's 1 1/16-mile contest after racing in last place early in the five-horse field]. Do you think he was the best horse in the race or that he would have won with a better trip?

Cox: “I don't know if he should have won or if he was the best horse in the race, but let's put it this way, he ran well, he galloped out well, and I think there's a lot of room for improvement. Mentally he's not there yet and he hadn't run in a while. He's figuring things out and he's going to be a lot better horse two months from now than he is right now.”

Q: When do you expect [3-year-old Ghostzapper colt] Loggins [a debut winner last September at Churchill Downs who subsequently was runner-up in the Oct. 8 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity G1 at Keeneland] to join your string here in New Orleans, and do you think he can make the Kentucky Derby?

Cox: “Hopefully Feb. 1. We're going to just see. It's going to be tough to get to the Derby. That doesn't mean we couldn't look at the Preakness (G1). We will nominate him to the Triple Crown and see.

Q. The public expected [runner-up] Chop Chop (3-5 favorite) to win the Silverbulletday [a Kentucky Oaks points race], did you?

Cox: “I expected her to win. They had been working together and she looked a little bit better in the mornings, but she had been freshened after the Breeders' Cup [Juvenile Fillies G1] while this other filly [The Alys Look] had a couple of starts during that timeframe. The Alys Look was plenty fit, and I think the wide trip kind of got to Chop Chop late.

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