2021 Iroquois Stakes at a Glance
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Courtesy of Bob Ehalt of America's Best Racing
Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve once again. Saturday’s Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs starts the long and winding road to the run for the roses, with the top four finishers earning 10-4-2-1 points that could come in handy next year on the first Saturday in May.
The Iroquois Stakes also is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” race, giving the winner an expenses-paid berth in the TVG Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Nov. 5 at Del Mar.
1. Tough to Tame: He’s already visited the winner’s circle twice, giving him an edge over most of the horses in this field. His running style indicates he can handle two turns, but he has not raced beyond 5 ½ furlongs yet.
JOCKEY: Sophie Doyle; TRAINER: Christopher Davis
2. Lucky Boss: He broke his maiden at a mile, which helps his cause, and then finished second in the Runhappy Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes at seven furlongs. It would not be a major surprise if he hits the board.
JOCKEY: Brian J. Hernandez Jr.; TRAINER: Ken McPeek
3. Roger McQueen: Another two-time winner, he beat Lucky Boss in the Ellis Park Juvenile but figures to have a tougher time on the front end here. Has the kind of experience that makes him a possibility here.
JOCKEY: Adam Beschizza; TRAINER: Larry Rivelli
4. Strike Hard: Ships up from Florida after an odds-on maiden win at Gulfstream Park in a one-turn mile test. Continued improvement puts him squarely in the picture.
JOCKEY: Leonel Reyes; TRAINER: Matthew Williams
5. Magnolia Midnight: Turned in a mediocre effort on turf in his debut then rolled to an easy win in an off-the-turf maiden race at Colonial Downs. Should find the competition much tougher here.
JOCKEY: Corey Lanerie; TRAINER: Dallas Stewart
6. Stellar Tap: Years from now, he’ll be the answer to the question of which horse made Steve Asmussen the all-time winningest trainer. But there was nothing trivial about his performance, which should set him up nicely for a big effort here.
JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana Jr.; TRAINER: Steve Asmussen
7. Red Knobs: Like Magnolia Midnight, he turned in a dramatically better effort when switched from turf to dirt due to inclement weather conditions. His winning time, however, was on the slow side.
JOCKEY: James Graham; TRAINER: Dale Romans
8. Major General: He posted a debut win at Saratoga in nearly the same time as Stellar Tap but had to work harder. That experience should be beneficial here and make him a major force in this field.
JOCKEY: Javier Castellano; TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
9. Guntown: He flashed big improvement in his second start and won by a little more than four lengths. By the red-hot, first-crop sire Gun Runner, he should make his presence felt at two turns.
JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione; TRAINER: Steve Asmussen
10. Husband Material: Was a winner by a pole (20 ½ lengths!) in his second start while traveling a little more than a mile. The hitch is that it was in a race originally scheduled for the turf and this will be a much more difficult assignment.
JOCKEY: Florent Geroux TRAINER: James Toner
11. Bourbon Heist: Although he’s a maiden, he was just a neck behind Guntown last time. His pedigree and running style should carry him through the two-turn distance if he can overcome a bad post position.
JOCKEY: Joe Talamo; TRAINER: Ian Wilkes
THE PICK: Stellar Tap
LIVE LONGSHOT: TBD
- October 20, 2021
A superb edition of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is on tap November 6, and the prospective field is a list of one sparkling star after the other.
- October 19, 2021
“Cocktails & Conversation,” the weekly virtual happy hour series, is back on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The 18th episode of the season will feature G1-winning owner Jaime Roth of LNJ Foxwoods; hosted by Britney Eurton and Nick Luck of NBC Sports and joined by renowned mixologist and creator of Breeders’ Cup’s official cocktails Mark Tubridy.
- October 18, 2021
LIMITED GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS FOR 2021 BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AT DEL MAR TO GO ON SALE WEDNESDAY
Breeders’ Cup announced today that a limited amount of General Admission tickets for the 2021 World Championships at Del Mar will go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Noon ET/9:00 a.m. PT. This year’s prestigious international event returns to the iconic Southern California racing venue for the second time in its history on Nov. 5 and 6.