Veteran gelding Red Knight is reaching new heights at age eight, earning his biggest career victory in Saturday’s $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G2) at Kentucky Downs, and the late runner secured a spot in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Keeneland by taking the “Win & You’re In” event.
Transferred to Mike Maker this season, the Trinity Farm homebred opened 2022 with a comfortable win in the July 27 Colonial Cup S. at Colonial Downs, and Red Knight stepped up in class and determinedly outfinished multiple Grade 1 victor Gufo to prevail by a nose in the 1 1/2-mile Turf Cup.
Overlooked at 15-1, the chestnut added the services of Gerardo Corrales and settled toward the back of the 12-horse field during the opening stages. Red Knight began to advance while well off the rail on the far turn and accelerated at least five-wide into the stretch, striking the front with about a furlong remaining.
Gufo, favored at 1.63-1 following a win in the Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 27, didn’t have the cleanest of trips after breaking keenly as the favorite, but he found his best stride late and appeared to have the win measured. However, Red Knight kept finding more to the inside, denying Gufo by the slimmest of margins.
Red Knight stopped the teletimer in 2:26.96.
Formerly trained by Bill Mott, Red Knight was winless from five starts last year, but he enjoyed a successful 2020 campaign, winning the Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland and finishing second in the Kentucky Turf Cup and Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct from four starts. Red Knight garnered his fifth stakes win Saturday and has now earned $1,210,388 from a 29-10-8-1 career line.
Gufo wound up a neck better than Another Mystery in third, and Highest Honors, Admission Office, Arklow, Glynn County, Who’s the Star, Rogue Element, Breakpoint, Temple, and Keystone Field completed the order of finish.
By Pure Prize, New York-bred Red Knight is out of the Skip Away mare Isabel Away, who is also the dam of multiple stakes winner Macagone.