Juvenile Stakes Kick Off Churchill Fall Meet
Maybesomaybenot, who won the Sanford (gr. II) this summer before tailing off in his last two, will carry top weight of 123 pounds in the $100,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. II) on opening day of the Churchill Downs fall meet Oct. 31.
The one-mile Iroquois will share top billing with its sister race, the $150,000 Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II), on the 11-race “Stars of Tomorrow” program that features all 2-year-old races.
The 21-day Churchill fall meet is highlighted by the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 5-6, the first time the event has been held there since 2007 and the record seventh time it has been held in Louisville. Not including Breeders' Cup races, a total of $1.925 million will be offered in stakes during the fall meet that runs from Oct. 31 through Nov. 27.
A field of eight was drawn for the Iroquois, with Maybesomaybenot likely to be one of the top betting choices. The son of Sunday Break—Majestic Mommy, by Olympio, broke his maiden by six lengths at Churchill back in July and in his next race went wire-to-wire in the six-furlong Sanford at Saratoga.
Trained by Mike Maker for Carolyn and Karen Scisney, the bay gelding finished out of the money in his next two starts—the Sept. 4 Sapling (gr. III) at Monmouth Park when fourth and the Oct. 9 Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) on the Keeneland Polytrack when eighth. Since that last effort, Maybesomaybenot worked five furlongs in :59 3/5 at the Churchill Downs Training Center.
Robby Albarado will ride the homebred for the first time and they will break from post 2.
The other black-type winner in the field is Ribo Bobo, who won the Sept. 25 Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder Casino & Race Course. The gelded son of Louis Quatorze has made all four of his starts at Calder, winning twice. Trainer Manuel Azpura will keep Eduardo Nunez as the rider on the Raputti Stables Florida homebred.
Other top contenders are Astrology and Storm in the Lake. Astrology, a homebred of Stonestreet Stables, broke his maiden at Saratoga on Sept. 4 and came back to run a solid third in his stakes debut in the Sept. 25 Garden State Stakes at Monmouth Park. The A.P. Indy colt will be saddled by Churchill Downs' perennial leading trainer Steve Asmussen. Garrett Gomez will have the mount.
Martin Cherry’s Storm in the Lake, by Stormin Fever , has won consecutive allowance races at Hoosier Park for Steve Margolis, both of them at six furlongs.
The Pocahontas, also at one mile, drew a field of seven juvenile fillies. Wayne Sanders’ and Larry Hirsch’s Gran Lioness and Peachtree Stable’s Honey Chile are both two-time winners.
Gran Lioness, by Lion Heart, broke her maiden in August at Ellis Park and two starts later romped by 6 1/2 lengths going six furlongs at Hoosier Park. The Bret Calhoun trainee has had two breezes at Churchill since that Sept. 25 victory. Jamie Theriot will have the mount.
Honey Chile has made all three starts on Polytrack, breaking her maiden in her Aug. 19 debut at Arlington Park and coming back two starts later to roll by more than six lengths at Keeneland. Wayne Catalano has assigned Michael Baze to ride.
Other top threats include Days Like This, who was beaten a nose in the two-turn Blue Hen Stakes Oct. 2 at Delaware Park, and Dancinginherdreams, a five-length maiden winner in her Oct. 10 debut at Keeneland.
$100,000 Iroquois Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:05 p.m.), 2YO, 1 Mile (Dirt)
$150,000 Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II, Race 10, 5:02 p.m.), 2YO Fillies, 1 Mile (Dirt)
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