An exciting field of 10 two-year-old prospects will vie in Saturday’s $200,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. The Road to the Kentucky Derby points race commences the prep season leading up to the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 2nd, with the top-four finishers earning points on a 10-4-2-1 structure. 

Here is the cast: 

ZYRAMID

Zyramid Career Racing Stats

3 Starts, 1 Wins, 0 Place,1 Show

Total Career Earnings: $67,000

Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC

Breeder: Nagako Fujita

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.

Sire: City Zip

Dam: Ravi’s Song

Color: Gray/Roan

Top BRIS Speed rating (84) in maiden win at Saratoga


March foal was outrun when a distant fifth in the Saratoga Special (G2) most recently when making his stakes debut. The $275,000 yearling purchase did look the part in his maiden breaker two prior, however, and the colt might move forward in his first effort going a route of ground. 


LetmenoLETMENO

Letmeno Career Racing Stats

2 Starts:1 Wins,1 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $49,700

Owner: Randall Bloch and Six Column Stables, LLC

Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds, Ltd.

Trainer: Ian Wilkes

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Sire: Twirling Candy

Dam: Wicked Mizz

Color: Gray/Roan

Top BRIS Speed rating (94) in Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes runner-up performance  


This interesting prospect impressed when rallying from last to win on debut, and he followed that up with a clear second-place finish in the Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes. The Ian Wilkes pupil has been precocious for a conditioner not known for his prowess with juveniles. The gray will be coming with energy from off the pace beneath Calvin Borel. 



Scabbard

SCABBARD

Scabbard Career Racing Stats

2 Starts:1 Wins,1 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $94,848

Owner: Joseph W Sutton

Breeder: Joseph W Sutton

Trainer: Eddie Kenneally

Jockey: Corey Lanerie

Sire: More Than Ready

Dam: Cowgirl Mally

Color: Chestnut

Top BRIS Speed rating (88) in Saratoga Special (G2) second


Talented son of More Than Ready was a runaway maiden winner at Churchill Downs at first asking, and he returned to be a sharp second behind a good one in the Saratoga Special (G2). The Eddie Kenneally charge has displayed a fine turn of foot to this stage of his development, and the colt looks like a threat traveling a route of ground for the first time. Corey Lanerie retains the mount atop the April foal.


Rowdy Yates

ROWDY YATES

Rowdy Yates Career Racing Stats

3 Starts: 2 Wins,1 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $100,198

Owner: L and N Racing, LLC

Breeder: Tracy Rene Strachan

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Tyler Baze

Sire: Morning Line

Dam: Spring Station

Color: Dark Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating (97) in Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes victory


Asmussen trainee has been impressive in each of his trio of career outings to date, with his best performance coming last time out in his Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes triumph. The Oklahoma-bred speedster was a debut winner on the surface as well as finishing second in the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) here this campaign. The colt will be formidable if he handles the distance.


Automate

AUTOMATE

Automate Career Racing Stats

3 Starts: 1 Wins, 0 Place 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $35,500

Owner: Don’t Tell My Wife Stables, LLC et al’s

Breeder: Gary and Mary West Stables, Inc.

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Jockey: Florent Geroux

Sire: New Year’s Day

Dam: My Hope America

Color: Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating (80) in maiden score at Ellis Park


One of two in the field for Desormeaux, this prospect comes off a seventh-place stakes result when trying stakes foes on the green at Kentucky Downs. The Kentucky-bred is a winner going one-mile on the dirt, but he will need marked improvement to take down this fine cast.


FLUTE MAKER

Flute Maker Career Racing Stats

2 Starts: 1 Wins, 0 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $42,490

Owner: Fern Circle Stables

Breeder: Ann Fostock

Trainer: Kenny McPeek

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Sire: Sky Mesa

Dam: Perfect Flute

Color: Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating (90) in maiden win at Saratoga


Prime contender was impressive when dominating foes in an off-the-turf event at Saratoga last out, drawing off to an 11-length score while being eased late. The Kentucky-bred is cut out to go long and his style hints that he will thrive at 1 1/16 miles, and beyond. Jose Ortiz coming from the Empire State to ride is a major positive. 



Juggernaut

JUGGERNAUT

Juggernaut Career Racing Stats

1 Starts:1 Wins, 0 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $30,000

Owner: Big Chief Racing, LLC and Rocker O Ranch

Breeder: Big Chief Racing

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Jockey: James Graham

Sire: Goldencents

Dam: Hashtag Stormy

Color: Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating (84) in debut win at Ellis Park


This second timer led at every call in a facile sprint tally at Ellis Park on debut. The bay son of Goldencents is a wild card in the field on the major class rise combined with the stretch-out in trip, but he did put in a fine five-furlong drill on the course most recently. James Graham has the assignment once again.


Dennis' Moment

 

DENNIS’ MOMENT

Dennis’ Moment Career Racing Stats

2 Starts:1 Wins, 0 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $30,000

Owner: Albaugh Family Stables, LLC

Breeder: Tolo Thoroughbreds

Trainer: Dale Romans

Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Sire: Tiznow

Dam: Transplendid

Color: Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating (95) in maiden romp at Ellis Park


This top prospect clipped heels and lost his jockey at first asking on this oval, but he left no doubt as to how good he might be when thrashing maiden foes at Ellis Park by 19 widening lengths in his return. $400,000 son of Tiznow has been training in lights-out fashion with bullet moves in three straight drills locally, and the morning-line favorite is the one to beat. The budding star picks up the services of top pilot Irad Ortiz, Jr., as well. 



LEBDA

Lebda Career Racing Stats

3 Starts: 2 Wins, 1 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $64,400

Owner: Joseph E Besecker

Breeder: Calumet Farm

Trainer: Claudio Gonzalez

Jockey: Trevor McCarthy

Sire: Raison d’Etat

Dam: Lenders Way

Color: Dark Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating (93) in Delaware Park allowance victory


This sneaky contender has never run a bad one and comes off the heels of an 11-length allowance stroll at Delaware Park. The bargain $1,000 auction purchase ran subsequent Group 3 victor Maven to a half-length in his debut outing, and he could contend on Saturday if able to handle the move to two-turn racing. 


JANUARY WON

January Won Career Racing Stats

1 Starts:1 Wins, 0 Place, 0 Show

Total Career Earnings: $41,250

Owner: Harold Lerner, LLC

Breeder: George Ruggiero

Trainer: Kenny McPeek

Jockey: Brian Hernandez, Jr.

Sire: New Year’s Day

Dam: Timezone

Color: Bay

Top BRIS Speed rating (78) in debut win at Saratoga


This Kentucky-bred colt was a debut winner at The Spa and has the look of an interesting long-term prospect in this field. The second of two from the McPeek barn in the lineup has stamina breeding on both sides of his catalog page, which makes his debut win at 5 ½ panels all the more impressive. The bay colt receives Lasix for the initial time and will break from the outside post.