Edited Churchill Staff Release – Brad Cox regularly states that he always thinks about the Kentucky Derby from his Barn 22 at Churchill Downs. His path to the 150th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade I) will begin Saturday with 12-1 longshot Gettysburg Address entered in the $300,000 Iroquois Stakes (GIII).
Gettysburg Address is one of the many 2-year-olds Cox has in his Churchill Downs stable. The 2-year-old son of Constitution remained in Kentucky throughout the summer and broke his maiden Aug. 6 at Ellis Park.
“He’s acted like a horse who will like stretching out in distance to one-mile in the Iroquois,” Cox said. “We know he has to step up to be competitive in this race and we’re confident he can do so.”
Last year, Cox began his Road to Kentucky Derby 149 in the Iroquois when Jace’s Road finished third to Curly Jack. Jace’s Road would go on to finish 17th in the Kentucky Derby.
Gettysburg Address will be ridden by Gerardo Corrales out of post No. 9.
Another interesting 2-year-old prospect that entered the Iroquois is MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey. Trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winner Wayne Lukas, Seize the Grey broke his maiden July 29 at Saratoga and enters the Iroquois from a third-place finish in the Aug. 18 Skidmore Stakes.
Ironically, Seize the Grey’s jockey, Jaime Torres, is represented as an agent by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, who won the Kentucky Derby for Lukas aboard Winning Colors (1988) and Thunder Gulch (1995).
Torres, a new addition to the local riding colony, previously rode in New York and Pennsylvania. The five-pound apprentice was aboard Seize the Grey for his maiden score. The duo will break from post 6.
The Iroquois, carded as Race 9 on Saturday, will begin the traditional Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of 37 races where points will be offered for the top five eligible horses. The Iroquois begins the “Prep Season,” a series of 21 foundation-building races. As the calendar moves closer to Kentucky Derby 150, the points and distances of each race will increase. The top five finishers in the Iroquois will be awarded points on a 10-5-3-2-1 scale.
Here is the Iroquois field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Liberal Arts (Cristian Torres, Robert Medina, 20-1); West Saratoga (Rafael Bejarano, Larry Demeritte, 8-1); Union Roll (Gerardo Corrales, Todd Pletcher, 5-1); Edified (Ricardo Santana Jr, Asmussen, 8-1); Market Street (Gabe Saez, Lukas, 8-1);Seize the Grey (Jaime Torres, Lukas, 10-1);Gettysburg Address (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox, 12-1); Risk It (Gaffalione, Asmussen, 2-1); and Patriot Spirit (Jesus Castanon, Michael Campbell, 7-2).
The Iroquois is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Dirt Dozen” where the top three finishers will receive a partial credit towards their entry fees in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.
SATURDAY’S DERBY CITY 6 SEQUENCE FEATURES FOUR STAKES CONTESTS – Saturday’s spectacular 11-race program from Churchill Downs will feature four stakes events in the Derby City 6 betting sequence, which covers the last six races on the card.
Saturday’s program will get underway at 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) and will feature the first of five stakes contests in Race 4, the $300,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society.
The $300,000 Open Mind (Listed) will begin the 20-cent Derby City 6 sequence in Race 6 at 3:18 p.m. The bet, which has a low 15% takeout, will pay 90% of the daily pool if multiple winning tickets correctly identify the last six winners and 10% will carry to Sunday’s pool. If there is one winning ticket, the entire pool will be paid out. On the flip side, if there are no winning combinations, the entire pool will be carried over to the next race day.
The Open Mind features a field of six filly and mare sprinters led by 3-5 favorite Wicked Halo.
The sequence and field sizes gets more challenging for bettors in the seventh race where nine 2-year-old fillies will compete in the $300,000 Pocahontas (GIII).
Race 8 is a full-field allowance contest on turf where the Whit Beckman-trained Hay Stack was made the lukewarm 7-2 morning line choice.
The stakes action resumes in Race 9, the $300,000 Iroquois (GIII), where nine 2-year-olds will be led by impressive Saratoga maiden breaker Risk It as the 2-1 favorite.
The penultimate leg of the sequence brings together three Grade I winners in the field of 11 fillies and mares entered in the $400,000 Locust Grove (GIII). The accomplished Chad Brown trainee Search Results was tabbed as the 3-1 choice.
Race 11 will challenge bettors with a full field maiden special weight contest for 2-year-old fillies. Brown’s Regulatory Risk was made the 2-1 favorite.
Fans can watch and wager on all the action from Churchill Downs on www.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated.
Handicappers can tune in Friday at 6 p.m. to “Inside Churchill Downs” on ESPN 680/105.7 where Darren Rogers, Kevin Kerstein and Scott Shapiro will go over the Derby City 6 sequence. Those outside the Louisville are can tune into the show on www.espnlouisville.com
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing will resume Friday beneath the Twin Spires for a 10-race card that got underway at 12:45 p.m. … There were 153 horses on the Friday work tab at Churchill Downs, including highly-regarded 3-year-old filly Hoosier Philly who sped a half-mile in :46.80 under Edgar Morales. The Tom Amoss trainee is nominated to the Sept. 24, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks (GIII). … Jockey Gavin Ashton was on the Churchill Downs backside Friday morning accompanied by agent Liz Morris. Ashton, a former chef and soccer player in England, began his new career as a jockey at age 20. The now 26-year-old spent the summer at Colonial Downs and began riding this month in Kentucky and Ohio. His first call at Churchill Downs is Wednesday in Race 6 aboard the Ingrid Mason-trained Candy Kick. … Jockey Corey Lanerie inched closer to his milestone 5,000th career win Thursday when he won the fourth race aboard Backside Buzz. Lanerie had four calls Friday, three Saturday and one Sunday. … Entries for next Saturday’s Downs After Dark program will be taken Saturday. The card includes a quartet of stakes contests: the $300,000 Dogwood (GIII), $300,000 Bourbon Trail, $300,000 Harrods Creek and $175,000 Seneca Overnight Stakes. … For more information about racing from Churchill Downs, visit www.churchilldowns.com.