©2015 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The much anticipated journey on the 2015-2016 “Road to the Kentucky Derby” begins Saturday at Churchill Downs with the 34nd running of the $150,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3).
Conquest Windycity, trained by Mark Casse and owned by Conquest Stables, LLC, heads a field of 12 young Thoroughbreds as the 7-2 morning line favorite. He comes into this race with a second-place finish in his first start in an 8½ furlong turf race at Saratoga Race Course on August 8. Conquest Windycity came from off the pace to get up for second, just 2¼ lengths shy of victory. Here’s a look at that race.
Casse has a poor record when horses switch from turf to dirt with seven percent wins in 53 starts. However, he’s 21 percent with horses making their second career start.
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan retains the mount on Conquest Windycity who earned an 83 Bristnet Speed Figure in his last race and that makes him competitive with this field.
I don’t know if Conquest Windycity can capture the win but runs close to the form of his last race, he should be competitive.
Unbridled Outlaw is the 4-1 morning line second choice and he comes into this race for trainer Dale Romans off of a maiden win in a 6 furlong race at Ellis Park on July 25. Favored in his last race, Unbridled Outlaw tracked the leaders up close, chasing fast fractions, and came home in the final strides to get the win in 1:09.91. Here’s a look at that race.
With a 1-0-1 record in two starts, Unbridled Outlaw is stepping up in class and he’s never ran a route race. However, Romans is 21 percent with horses that stretch out from sprints to routes for the first time.
Unbridled Outlaw has been training well and he fired two back-to-back bullet works last month. He has the breeding to easily handle the stretch out in distance and I look for Unbridled Outlaw to be competitive in this race.
Star Hill comes into this race for trainer George Arnold off of a third-place finish in his maiden debut at Saratoga Race Course on August 8. Star Hill came from off the pace in that race and he looks like a horse that will run better as the races get longer. Here’s a look at that race.
Star Hill is stepping up in class. But a repeat of the performance in his last race should make him competitive in the Iroquois Stakes (G3).
Meeteetse Fly comes into this race for trainer Kenny McPeek off of a nice maiden win at Ellis Park on July 17. At the start, he dropped to the back of the nine-horse herd, began his run at the half made up good ground to get the win by three-quarters of a length. Here’s a look at that race.
The finish time of 1:36.89 is in the neighborhood of what I like to see in young colts on the Kentucky Derby Trail.
Jockey Joe Johnson retains the mount and if Meeteetse Fly improves in his second start of the season, he’ll be competitive in this race.
The Iroquois Stakes (G3) is a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and this year the points for that race will be double what it's been in the past. So, the winner of the Juvenile will get 20 points. The second-place finisher will get eight points, four points will go to the third-place finisher and the horse that finishes second will get two points.