Racing News

Iroquois kicks off 'Road to the Kentucky Derby'

Churchill Downs will open the doors on its September meet Friday, and the stakes action at the Louisville, Kentucky, venue will get underway Saturday night as four black-type contests, including three graded, highlight the "Downs After Dark" program.

The Grade 3, $150,000 Iroquois will feature a field of 12 colts and geldings and the 1 1/16-mile event for two-year-olds carries extra significance this year as the opening event of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, the points system that determines eligibility for the three-year-olds that will compete in next year's 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Points are awarded on 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four respective finishers.

The Iroquois has also been added to the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge Series, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Saturday, November 2. The winner additionally receives a $10,000 travel stipend for transport from anywhere in North America to the Arcadia, California, track.

Rise Up is the only member of the Iroquois field with any prior stakes knowledge, having captured the Mountaineer Juvenile by 4 3/4 lengths on August 3 in his first try on a conventional dirt track. Trained by Tom Amoss, the Rockport Harbor colt will retain the services of Rosie Napravnik.

Laddie Boy jumped up in a big way when trying dirt for the first time on June 19, breaking his maiden by 13 lengths at Indiana Downs for conditioner Chuck Perry. Jesus Castanon will ride the gray son of War Pass.

Tapiture is still a maiden for Steve Asmussen, but the chestnut colt figures to receive support following a runner-up finish to Strong Mandate in his career debut at Saratoga on August 17. That rival came back to win Monday's Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes by a resounding 9 3/4-length margin. Ricardo Santana Jr. picks up the mount on the well-regarded son of Tapit.

Trainer Kelly Breen appears well-represented by a pair of convincing maiden winner at Monmouth Park, Solemnly Swear and Jimmy Connors. The former broke through in a big way when making his third start on August 11, scoring 8 1/2 lengths, while the latter romped by 4 1/4 lengths when making his lone career outing on July 27. Joe Bravo keeps the mount on Solemnly Swear and Elvis Trujillo will be back aboard Jimmy Connors.

Other maiden winners of note include Honorable Judge, who posted a 6 3/4-length victory in his career bow at Parx on August 11; and Ride on Curlin and Cee 'n O, convincing winners at Ellis Park. Cleburne and Smart Cover also broke their maidens at Ellis, but did so on that track's turf and will be switching to dirt.

All Cash and Stonecrusher are still seeking that elusive initial score in the Iroquois.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

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Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

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California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.