For those that don’t know, the pick three is where you select the winner in three consecutive races. Not as easy as it sounds, but an achievable feat for the pony prognosticators. Usually there is some strategy involved and with heavy mathematical formulas a winning ticket can be derived. If you wanted to hit the late pick 3 at the Fairgrounds on March 21, all you needed was one simple approach… pick the Brad Cox trainee.

One of the brightest training stars in the Thoroughbred game today, Brad Cox has been making a name for himself across the country. This hard-working native of Louisville, Kentucky has become a regular on the biggest stages with recent wins in races like the Kentucky Oaks (Monomoy Girl 2018), Kentucky Turf Cup (Arklow 2018), and at the Breeders Cup (Monomoy Girl 2018, British Idiom 2019, Cofeve 2019) to name a few.

So here we are on Louisiana Derby Day with a card loaded with stakes races. Days like these bring out the big hitters as a cup or two of cheddar will be up for grabs. And let’s not forget the qualifying points for both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. Winning one race on these days is nice. Pulling a double makes for some hee-hawing. A triple…virtually unheard of. Somebody forgot to tell Brad Cox.

Cox got things going for his barn early with a win in race 2 (Dreamalildreamofu) in a one-mile turf race. As the day began unfolding, it was logical to consider any of his runners as the front-running speed was holding and the Cox barn had a couple of burners for the big races.

The late pick 3 kicked off with the mile and an eighth Muniz Memorial Classic over the Fairgrounds turf. Saddling Factor This for the $300,000 go on the grass, Cox had his charge ready. This five-year old son of The Factor rocketed home in race record time (1:47.21) as he lead every step of the way.

The second leg of the late pick 3 saw the heavily favored Finite as a virtual shoo in in the Fairgrounds Oaks. Once again, nobody told Brad. Bonny South came into the race off two consecutive wins but had yet to run in Stakes company. No way she could hang with a horse that had reeled off five wins in a row… Think again because she was coming out of the Brad Cox barn. Under a patient ride from Florent Geroux, the highly prepared Bonny bolted to the lead in mid-stretch and prevailed by a widening 2 ¼ lengths.

Now it was time for the big boy. Cox was saddling the aptly named Wells Bayou for the $1 million Louisiana Derby. Could this old boy go to the Well one more time down on the Bayou? You already know.

Proving once again he knows how to have his horse ready, the Bayou bolted to the lead straight out of the gates and never looked back. While leading the field of 14 over the New Orleans dirt, this son of Lookin At Lucky completed an incredible late pick 3 score for his conditioner and ran them both onto the list of real Kentucky Derby contenders.

“It was a great day”, says Cox. “I’m very proud of our horses and our team. We are very grateful for the owners that trust us with quality stock.”

These wins gave a young and talented trainer a brilliant day in the sun. And it also gave some horseplayers an all new late pick 3 strategy.