September 15th 2017 – Updated September 16th
Tomorrow, the 2018 Kentucky Derby trail kicks off at Churchill Downs with the Iroquois Stakes. The winner will received 10 points in the 2018 Kentucky Derby point standings. The Iroquois is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Sentient Jet Juvenile.
Last year’s Iroquois Stakes winner, Not This Time, finished 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind Classic Empire. The only Iroquois Stakes winner to start in the Kentucky Derby was 2001 winner Harlan’s Holiday. Harlan’s Holiday finished 7th in the 2002 Kentucky Derby. But keep a eye on whoever finishes in the Top Three for the future as Lookin At Lee finished 2nd in last year’s Iroquois and was runner-up to Always Dreaming in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Below are the post-positions, weights, jockey assignments and morning line odds:
The Iroquois Stakes
The Iroquois Stakes – 1 1/16th Mile – Race #10 at Churchill Downs – Post-Time: Saturday September 16th at 4:20 PM CST. Televised by TVG
1. Ten City (122) – Gilligan/McPeek – 3/1
2. Hollywood Star (118) – Albarado/Romans – 5/2
3. Pont Du Gard (118) – Geroux/Correas – 15/1
4. Tres Equis (118) – Carmouche/Maker – 8/1
5. Ebben (118) – Graham/Margolis – 20/1
6. Smart Remark (118) – Cruz/Oliver – 20/1
7. Flameaway (120) – Leparoux/Casse – 4/1
8. Big Gemmy (118) – Hernandez/Calhoun – 15/1
9. The Tabulator (120) – Valdivia/Rivelli – 6/1
10. Mo Diddley (118) – Lanerie/Casse – 10/1
Race Commentary: Overall, this seems to be a less talented field than the Iroquois Stakes had last year. The fastest horse in this field through 6 furlongs is The Tabulator (1:10.09 in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile). Unfortunately, this is an 8 1/2 furlong race.
Tres Equis and Pont Du Gard have both raced at the 1 mile distance. Pont Du Gard’s mile was on turf at Arlington. Tres Equis’s mile came in a two-turn dirt race at Indiana Downs. Ten City is probably the biggest name in this race, having beaten Copper Bullet in the Bashford Manor Stakes. Hollywood Star finished 2nd in Copper Bullet’s next start in the Saratoga Special Stakes. Hollywood Star is trained by Dale Romans who has won two out of the last four Iroquois Stakes.
The Mark Casse-trained colt Flameaway has never raced beyond 5 1/2 furlongs. I think 4/1 odds are too short for my tastes. Smart Remark and Pont Du Gard both will be making the 2nd starts of their career. The most experienced colts are Ten City and Ebben who have made 3 career starts.
This race seems up for grabs. 2-year-olds are unpredictable. I would lean towards two of lessor favorites in The Tabulator or Tres Equis for the win. A good combination of proven speed and proven stamina. Throw in Hollywood Star and Ten City in a small wager superfecta. As with most 2-year-old races at this stage, these races are more for entertainment than money makers.
Early Favorites on the 2018 Kentucky Derby Trail
I recently wrote an article for US racing profiling my three current favorites on the 2018 Kentucky Derby trail: Bolt d’Oro, Copper Bullet and St Patrick’s Day. The article can be accessed by clicking HERE.
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