Fittingly for the first scoring race on the Road to the 150th Kentucky Derby, Saturday’s $300,000 Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs showcases contenders with Triple Crown trail-themed pedigrees.

Morning line favorite Risk It is by Gun Runner, the third-placer in the 2016 Kentucky Derby who went on to reign as Horse of the Year in 2017. Off to a sensational start at stud, Gun Runner got a classic winner in his first crop, 2022 Preakness (G1) hero Early Voting, and he’s also sired such prominent runners in the division as Taiba, Cyberknife, and current sophomore Disarm. 
Risk It’s dam (mother) is by Broken Vow, who is himself a son of 1990 Kentucky Derby champion Unbridled. Another Derby winner showing up in Risk It’s female line is Sunny’s Halo, who wore the roses in 1983.
Unbridled is the paternal grandsire of recently inducted Hall of Famer Arrogate, who is the sire of this year’s Belmont (G1) and Travers (G1) star Arcangelo. Arrogate’s final crop is now hitting the track, and two of them are in the Iroquois, Liberal Arts and Seize the Grey.
Liberal Arts is out of Ismene, victress of a pair of California-bred stakes in her juvenile season. She’s by the speedy Storm Cat stallion Tribal Rule.
Seize the Grey was produced by Smart Shopping, the third-placer in the 2016 Suncoast S. at Tampa Bay Downs. The mare is a half-sister to Power Broker, who scored his signature win in the 2012 FrontRunner (the race now known as the American Pharoah) (G1), as well as to Fierce Boots, heroine of the 2014 Busanda S. Smart Shopping is by the influential Smart Strike, sire of such champions as Curlin, and the broodmare sire (maternal grandfather) of Kentucky Derby upsetters Mine That Bird (2009) and Rich Strike (2022).
Hall of Famer and premier sire Curlin, the paternal grandsire of 2022 Iroquois winner Curly Jack, plays the same role in the pedigree of West Saratoga. While Curly Jack is a son of Good Magic, West Saratoga is by Curlin’s 2016 Preakness-winning son Exaggerator.
Ironically, West Saratoga is out of a mare by champion Uncle Mo, sire of Exaggerator’s familiar foe Nyquist. Exaggerator lost their first several meetings, including when runner-up to Nyquist in the 2016 Derby, but turned the tables in the Preakness and Haskell (G1).
There’s a similar, if more tenuous, irony in the pedigree of Market Street. By Street Sense, the first Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion to win the Kentucky Derby (2007), Market Street hails from the same female line as Curlin, Street Sense’s old rival. Curlin placed in the Derby but beat Street Sense in the Preakness and in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). 
Street Sense has passed on his affinity for Churchill to his progeny, including his first-crop son Motor City, the 2011 Iroquois winner. Market Street is out of Quality Way, a half-sister to 2013 Southwest (G3) scorer Super Ninety Nine. Quality Way is by Quality Road, sire of this year’s Preakness victor National Treasure. 
Constitution, sire of 2020 Belmont/Travers star Tiz the Law, also has 2021 Iroquois winner Major General on his ledger. Now Constitution has two chances in Saturday’s renewal, Patriot Spirit and Gettysburg Address.
Patriot Spirit’s dam, Grade 1 winner Mistical Plan, was a veteran of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail. The winner of the 2007 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), and runner-up in the 2006 Pocahontas (G3), she finished fifth to champion Rags to Riches in the Kentucky Oaks. In the summer of 2008, Mistical Plan romped in the six-furlong Princess Rooney H. (G1). 
Gettysburg Address is out of multiple graded winner Jojo Warrior, who is by Pioneerof the Nile – the same sire as 2015 Triple Crown star American Pharoah. Jojo Warrior won the 2014 Summertime Oaks (G2) and Torrey Pines (G3) and placed third to champion Untapable in the Cotillion (G1). She is a half-sister to three other stakes winners, including 2010 Frizette (G1) vixen A Z Warrior and Grade 3 scorer E Z Warrior.
Constitution is himself by the outstanding patriarch Tapit, who is represented by Edified in the Iroquois. Edified is a half-brother to Constellation, the 2016 La Brea (G1) winner, as well as current multiple stakes victor Truth Seeker. They are all out of For Royalty, successful in the 2009 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies S. Edified is bred along similar lines to newly-enshrined Hall of Famer California Chrome: like the 2014 Derby and Preakness hero, Edified is by a son of Pulpit and out of a mare by Not for Love.
Pulpit is in turn by the great A.P. Indy, who has extended the legacy of his sire, 1977 Triple Crown legend Seattle Slew, and damsire, the immortal Secretariat. A.P. Indy, sire of 2010 Iroquois winner Astrology, also shows up here via his daughter On a Roll, the dam of Union Roll. On a Roll has produced Doctor Mounty, a multiple Grade 3 victor on turf, and multiple Grade 2-placed stakes winner Dabster.
Union Roll is by Union Rags, the 2012 Belmont winner who previously suffered two of his most disappointing losses at Churchill. An agonizing near-misser as the favorite in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Union Rags was seventh in the 2012 Kentucky Derby after a troubled start.