Iroquois Stakes Odds

Iroquois Stakes Odds

Churchill Downs is back in action for its annual September meeting and Saturday Sept.15 features the $150,000 Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes for two year-olds. 12 horses will line up for the mile and one sixteenth event on the main track in what should be a spectacular betting race.

The most important handicapping question in the Iroquois Stakes remains unchanged. Which colt will handle the additional distance? Of the 12 runners in the field, none have raced around two turns on the main track although Pole Setter (6/1 ML) and Cairo Cat (8/1) did so in turf races. 

On paper, Tight Ten (2/1 ML) has stand-out speed figures, but the Steve Asmussen trainee is like many in the field in that he’s never raced beyond a sprint distance in two career starts. Tight Ten finished second in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special Aug.12, but faced only three rivals in that race.

Here’s the rest of the field:

  • 1-Mr. Wrench It 30/1
  • 2-Royal Urn 12/1
  • 3-Drunk as a Skunk 30/1
  • 4-Tight Ten 2/1
  • 5-My Sixth Sense 10/1
  • 6-Tabacco Road 6/1
  • 7-Pole Setter 6/1
  • 8-Cairo Cat 8/1
  • 9-Manny Wah 8/1
  • 10-Hog Creek Hustle 10/1
  • 11-Synthesis 12/1
  • 12-Everfast 12/1

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Pedigree and value

The old adage about never taking a short price on a horse doing something it has never done before applies in this race even though Tight Ten is likely the most talented runner of the bunch at this point. 

A horse’s breeding is often the most important, yet overlooked and confusing handicapping angle for bettors to consider. The Iroquois is full of runners well-bred to handle the extra ground, but perhaps none moreso than Everfast (12/1) who has classic bloodlines on both sides of his pedigree. In lay terms, this is a horse that should excel running longer. Trained by Dale Romans, Everfast broke his maiden at first-asking Aug.12 at Ellis Park, but will have to overcome a wide post position in the Iroquois. 

Pole Setter Iroquois Stakes Odds
6/1

Everfast is hardly the only horse who should handle added distance. Hog Creek Hustle (10/1), and Tobacco Road (6/1) also seem well-suited for more ground. The latter is Tight Ten’s stablemate, giving Asmussen a solid 1-2 punch and horses with contrasting styles. Hog Creek Hustle, another maiden debut winner came from well off the pace to win a 5 furlong event Aug.18 at Ellis. 

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Bottom line and picks

Pole Setter, trained by Brad Cox, is the only horse in the field to have won a race longer than 7 furlongs. He did so in his debut at Ellis Park, winning a one-mile turf race. While he will be switching surfaces, the precocious colt is actually better-bred for the main track and has worked exceptionally well on dirt in preparation for this. 

Turning for home, I expect Tobacco Road, Pole Setter, Everfast and Hog Creek Hustle to be in the mix along with Tight Ten. I’m playing against the favorite in this spot, but I’ll go with his stablemate to get the job done.

  • 1st: Tobacco Road
  • 2nd: Pole Setter
  • 3rd: Tight Ten
  • 4th: Everfast
  • 5th: Hog Creek Hustle