(Trainer Steve Asmussen / Coady Photography)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Darren Rogers:
KENTUCKY DERBY DREAMS BEGIN SATURDAY IN IROQUOIS STAKES
Kentucky Derby dreams will begin Saturday for many owners, trainers and jockeys with the start of the Road to the 150th Kentucky Derby in the $300,000 Iroquois Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
Nine horses were entered in Saturday’s 42nd running of the Iroquois where Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Risk It was tabbed as the 2-1 morning line choice.
The one-mile Iroquois 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.
Several connections for horses in the Iroquois have already tasted victory in the “Run for the Roses.” In fact, the owners, trainers and jockeys in Saturday’s race have won a combined 20 Kentucky Derbys. Among the connections is owner Calumet Farm (Union Roll), who has a record eight wins in the Kentucky Derby, and four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas (Market Streetand Seize the Grey).
Favored Risk It’s connections have seen firsthand what it’s like to compete in the Kentucky Derby. However, they’ve yet to win the world’s greatest race.
Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, Risk It is by top sire Gun Runner, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby for Winchell Thoroughbreds and Asmussen. Risk It broke his maiden on debut at Saratoga and enters the Iroquois with the top last race Brisnet Speed Figure of 91.
“He’s trained like he’ll get a mile,” Asmussen said following his maiden-breaking performance. “Obviously with his pedigree and what he’s shown to this point, we’re going to continue to dream.”
The Iroquois will be run as Race 9 with a post time of 4:55 p.m. (all times Eastern). The first of 11 races will get underway at 12:45 p.m. The spectacular card will also feature the $300,000 Pocahontas (GIII), the kickoff on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The other stakes on the program are the $400,000 Locust Grove (GIII), $300,000 Open Mind (Listed) and $300,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society.
Here is the complete field for the Iroquois 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.
Fans can watch and wager on all the action from Churchill Downs onwww.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby. Handicappers Joe Kristufek, Scott Shapiroand Kaitlin Free will provide additional insight and selections on the simulcast feed which can be viewed on TwinSpires or the Churchill Downs App on smart TVs.
Fans can also watch all of the races from Churchill Downs on FanDuel TV and the FanDuel+ app. Several FanDuel TV hosts and handicappers will be live on-site throughout the September Meet including Andie Biancone, Christina Blacker, Caton Bredar, Matt Carrothers, Larry Collmus, Gabby Gaudet, Joaquin Jaime, Mike Joyce, Caleb Keller and Todd Schrupp.
For more information about the Churchill Downs September Meet, visitwww.ChurchillDowns.com.
(Pauline’s Pearl / Coady Photography)
THREE GRADE I WINNERS ENTERED IN SATURDAY’S GRADE III, $400,000 LOCUST GROVE
A stellar group of 11 fillies and mares are set to clash in Saturday’s $400,000 Locust Grove (GIII) at Churchill Downs, including three Grade I winners: A Mo Reay, Pauline’s Pearl and Search Results.
Klaravich Stables’ Search Results was tabbed as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite for trainer Chad Brown. The 5-year-old daughter of Flatter arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday from her Belmont Park base. The six-time winner enjoyed easy days Tuesday-Thursday under the watchful eye of Brown’s local assistant Josh Flores.
Search Results achieved Grade I glory as a 3-year-old in the Acorn Stakes but will attempt to find the winner’s circle for the first time since the 2022 Molly Pitcher (GIII). Jockey Tyler Gaffalione has the riding assignment from post No. 4.
Fellow Grade I winner Pauline’s Pearl arrived from New York one day after Search Results back to her Barn 38 home of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. The 5-year-old daughter of Tapit defeated A Mo Reay and Bellamore in the Fleur de Lis (GII) 10 weeks ago at Ellis Park. Following her victory, Pauline’s Pearl shipped to Saratoga where she had eight works prior to the Locust Grove. Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. will ride the Stonestreet Stables homebred from post 2.
Trainer Brad Cox hopes Haruya Yoshida’s A Mo Reay rebounds in the Locust Grove from her tough trip in the Fleur de Lis (GII).
“She had a pretty tough trip that day,” Cox said. “(Pauline’s Pearl) beat us and we’re looking forward to facing her again Saturday. She’s been a very consistent filly for us. She tries hard and has been training forwardly at Churchill Downs since the Fleur de Lis.”
Jockey Flavien Prat will have the return call on A Mo Reay from post 7. Prat was aboard A Mo Reay for her victory in Beholder Mile (GI) at Santa Anita.
The Locust Grove sits on the calendar seven weeks from the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) at Santa Anita. Several horses have attempted to use the 1 1/16-mile race as a prep toward the Breeders’ Cup including 2021 Locust Grove winnerShedaresthedevil and 2018 winner Blue Prize (ARG).
Here’s the field for the Locust Grove (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Soul of an Angel (Ajhari Williams, Gerald James, 20-1); Pauline’s Pearl (Santana, Asmussen, 5-1); Le Da Vida (CHI) (Vince Cheminaud, Ignacio Correas IV, 7-2); Search Results (Gaffalione, Brown, 3-1); Misty Veil (James Graham, Mike Maker, 15-1); Hidden Connection (Cristian Torres, Bret Calhoun, 8-1); A Mo Reay (Prat, Cox, 5-1); Fannie and Freddie (Corey Lanerie, Al Stall Jr., 30-1); Music Street (Declan Cannon, Whit Beckman, 30-1); Falconet (Gerardo Corrales, Todd Pletcher, 6-1); and Royal Take Charge (Rey Gutierrez, Stall, 15-1).
(Corey Lanerie / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
LANERIE CHASES 5,000 CAREER WINS
Veteran rider Corey Lanerie is in hot pursuit of a milestone 5,000th career wins and just needs three victories to do so.
Lanerie has mounts in Races 1, 4, 5 and 7 Thursday.
Lanerie, who cut his teeth in Louisiana early in his career, has risen to one of the top riders in the Kentucky circuit. His impressive résumé includes 66 graded stakes victories including seven Grade I wins.
(Tyler Gaffalione / Coady Photography)
GAFFALIONE, CHURCHILL JOCKEYS PLEDGE UP TO $2,500 DONATION MATCH FOR GIVE FOR GOOD LOUISVILLE – Perennial leading rider Tyler Gaffalione and the Churchill Downs jockey colony has pledged to match up to $2,500 in donations to the Backside Learning Center as part of Thursday’s Give for Good Louisville.
Thursday is the 10th annual Give for Good Louisville and over the past decade there have been more than $50.6 million donated to local organizations throughout the region. This year, in celebration of the upcoming 150th Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs has donated $150,000 to local organizations.
For more information, visit www.giveforgoodlouisville.org
CHURCHILL DOWNS ESTABLISHES NEW HOUSE CLAIMING RULES– Beginning with the start of the September Meet, Churchill Downs has established new “house rules” for claiming horses at the Louisville racetrack.
The licensed trainer for claimant must have made a start at the current meet or within the state of Kentucky since July 7, which was the start of the Ellis Park meet. Also, a claimed horse may not race outside of Kentucky for 60 days following the date of the end of the meet during the which the horse was claimed or Jan. 1, 2024, whichever is first to occur. Additionally, the claimant or licensed trainer representing the claimant must have a signed Claiming Agreement on file with the Churchill Downs racing office prior to submitting a claim.
The agreement and more information can be found online athttps://www.churchilldowns.com/horsemen/.
‘INSIDE CHURCHILL DOWNS’ AIRS FRIDAYS AT 6 P.M. ON ESPN LOUISVILLE – Horse racing fans can join Churchill Downs’ Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein alongside expert handicapper Scott Shapiro Friday’s at 6 p.m. on “Inside Churchill Downs” which airs locally on ESPN 680/105.7 and online atwww.espnlouisville.com.
The one-hour broadcast will feature expert analysis and inside information to prepare fans and gamblers for the weekend’s upcoming races. Friday’s show will preview Saturday’s quintet of stakes contests.
“It pays to listen to Inside Churchill Downs.”
‘INSIDE KENTUCKY DERBY’ PODCAST RETURNS THURSDAY – Kentucky Derby fans can get an early preview of Saturday’s $300,000 Iroquois Stakes as part of Episode 2 of Season 2 on “Inside the Kentucky Derby.”
Fans can download the latest episode on their favorite podcast platform including Apple, Spotify and YouTube.
Churchill Downs’ communications duo of Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein will host the show throughout the Road to Kentucky Derby 150.
For more information, visit www.KentuckyDerby.com.
POPULAR 5 P.M. ‘TWILIGHT THURSDAYS’ RETURN WITH $2 BEER, LIVE MUSIC, FOOD TRUCKS – Churchill Downs will host three Twilight Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. at The Grove, which is located just inside the Clubhouse and VIP Gates. Weekly features include $2 select domestic can beer, live music (The Leftovers Band on Sept. 14; Sweet Lady on Sept. 21; and Tyler Embry on Sept. 28) and food trucks.
The Food Truck lineup includes Annie Up Pizza (Sept. 21 and Sept. 28), Bamba Egg Rolls (Sept. 28), Black Rock Grille (Sept. 14), Celtic Pig (Sept. 14 and 21), Cookie Dough Bliss (Sept. 14), Cooper Kitchen (Sept. 21), FlavaVille(Sept. 28), HurriKanes (Sept. 28), Mr. C’s Cheesecakes (Sept. 21), Red Top Hot Dogs (Sept. 21), Seafood Lady (Sept. 14), Smok’n Cantina (Sept. 28) and Sweet n Savory (Sept. 14).
DOWNS AFTER DARK: BOURBON & BOOTS ON SATURDAY, SEPT. 23 – The final Downs After Dark of the year will take place Saturday, Sept. 23 as Churchill Downs presents “Bourbon & Boots” where Music City meets Derby City with the perfect combination of music, bourbon, fashion and horse racing.
Louisville’s biggest “Honky Tonk” will feature music from DJ Stingy (5-8:15 p.m.) and Nashville’s Tim Cote Band with special guest Lana Scott (8:30-11 p.m.) on a stage at The Grove, which is located just inside the Clubhouse and VIP Gates.
There also will be a mechanical bull; a Tootsie’s-inspired photo booth; Nashville-inspired murals; Sherwin-Williams Sponsored Live Art; and an Old Forester Cocktail Demonstration.
Admission gates will open at 5 p.m. and the 11-race program will be conducted between 6-11:10 p.m. General admission to Downs After Dark is $20 and includes an official program. Guests under the age of 18 will only be admitted to the track if accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Limited premium dining packages are available starting at $84 per person. Outdoor box seats range from $25 to $35 per person. Reserved seating can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
BETTING MENU FEATURES 20-CENT DERBY CITY 6 JACKPOT – The betting menu will be the same as recent meets and includes the 20-cent minimum“Derby City 6” jackpot, which is offered on the last six races each day with a low 15-percent takeout. The Derby City 6 jackpot will be paid only if there is a single winning wager with six winners placed at the required minimum bet value. If there are multiple winning wagers with six winners in the six-race sequence, 90 percent of the net money wagering into the pool will be paid, and the remaining 10 percent will carry to the Derby City 6 jackpot. If there are no tickets will all six winners, 100 percent of the pool will carry to the Derby City 6 jackpot. There will be a mandatory payout on closing day.
The daily betting menu also features 50-cent Pick 5s with a low 15-percent takeout and 50-cent Pick 4s. Win, Place, Show, Exacta, 50-cent Trifecta, 10-cent Superfecta, Daily Double, 50-cent Pick 3 wagers and rolling $1 Super Hi-5s will be offered every race (on all races that qualify under Kentucky statutes for minimum field size).
PADDOCK, JOCKEY CLUB SUITES CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES; ENTRY PROCEDURES FOR REMAINDER OF YEAR – Construction on the new $200 million Paddock and a $14 million renovation of the Jockey Club Suites at Churchill Downs continues. As was the case during the Spring Meet, a temporary saddling paddock adjacent to the First Turn Grandstand will be utilized and several areas of the facility will be closed for the remainder of the year.
Here are some things guests need to know prior to arriving at Churchill Downs:
- Guests are encouraged to park in the Green, Black, White (WI-WII), Yellow (Y30-Y39) and Turquoise Lots. The Orange, White, Black and Green Lots also will be open.
- Passes are required the Red, White (Racine to W18), Blue (B20-B25) and Yellow (Y26-Y-29) Lots.
- ADA Placards will be permitted to the White Lot (W16-W-18) on a first come, first serve basis.
- Rideshare and taxis can be accessed at the VIP Gate.
- Bus parking is located in the Black or Turquoise Lots.
- Guests can enter either the Clubhouse or VIP Gates each day of the 2023 Racing Season.
- The Executive Gate will be used when groups are in the Starting Gate Suites or Homestretch Club.
- The Clubhouse Box Office will open one hour before gates each live race day and close at the second to last post.
- General Admission: Sections 113-114.
- Reserved Seating: Sections 115-117 and 313-319.
Temporary Saddling Paddock:
- A temporary saddling paddock has been constructed adjacent to the new First Turn Grandstand.
First Turn Grandstand:
- The First Turn viewing terrace is open to guests.
- The first floor inside the First Turn is open for horsemen.
- The second and third floors of the First Turn Grandstand are closed.
Food and Beverage Options
- Second Floor Clubhouse ITW (moving to cashless operations)
- Twilight Thursdays: food trucks and beer sales will be available at The Grove, which is located inside the Clubhouse and VIP Gates.
- Matt Winn’s Steakhouse: open Wednesday-Sunday from 5-10 p.m.
- Paddock Gate
- Jockey Club Suites
- Plaza Area
- Paddock Grill and Red Roses Bar behind section 117
- Winner’s Circle Suites 0-20
- Courtyard 118-119 and Lounge Area
- President’s Hallway
- Third-floor box seats 320-328
- Parking in Orange and Pink Lots.