The first graded stakes of the Churchill Fall Meet, the Iroquois tested nine juveniles going a mile on the main track.
Court Vision, ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by Bill Mott, won for the second time in three starts. The son of Gulch was sent off at odds of more than 8-1, the sixth betting choice.
Court Vision was taken in hand early, settling two wide while pacesetters St. Joe and Chitoz battled it out in the backstretch. Eventually, Wertheimer & Frere homebred Chitoz took the lead, setting fractions of 45.80 for a half-mile and 1:11.23 for three-quarters.
As they approached the stretch St. Joe regained the lead under Rafael Bejarano, while Halo Najib was making his four-wide bid for the front. Sok Sok was also in contention.
But coming nearly seven-wide, Court Vision was making a bold move and had his sights set on Halo Najib, who had gained the front by now. The bay colt kept charging and wore down his rival in the final strides under urging from Leparoux.
“I was behind," Leparoux said. "I was very frustrated at the start. But he came running. The trip was good because we saved ground the whole way. They came back to me, and he had a good kick.”
Halo Najib was 2 1/2 lengths in front of St. Joe in third. Sok Sok was fourth. The final time was 1:37.26.
Court Vision paid $19.60, $9, and $5.20. The exacta (3-7) was worth $88.20. The trifecta (3-7-4) returned $648.60.
“The horse ran a super race,” said Kenny McCarthy, the assistant trainer who oversees Mott’s stable at Churchill Downs. “It was a bit of a test today, because after two starts on the Polytrack we weren’t sure how he would take the dirt in his face.”
Court Vision’s most recent start was in a maiden special weight at Keeneland Oct. 7, a 2 1/2-length score with Leparoux aboard.
Out of Storm Bird mare Weekend Storm, Court Vision was purchased by WinStar for $350,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale this year. He was bred in Kentucky by W. S. Farish and Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership.
Betting favorite Mythical Pegasus finished eighth.