Just less than four weeks after rolling to a 5 1/2-length victory in the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, Uncaptured will target more success at the Louisville track Nov. 24 in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).
The Iroquois marked the first career start on dirt for Uncaptured, by Lion Heart--Captivating, by Arch, who started his career with four wins in five races at Woodbine. A $290,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase, the four-time stakes winner was bred in Ontario by William Graham and races for John Oxley.
"He's always acted like he was a little on the special side," said Uncaptured's trainer Mark Casse. "The way these things go, it's about how they progress and he's progressed. It looks like he's a really nice horse, but we still have to figure out if he's top of the class. Hopefully on Saturday, he'll pass another test."
The Kentucky Jockey Club is one of the races included in the "Kentucky Derby Prep Season" for which points are awarded on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), with a point system of 10-4-2-1 for the first four finishers.
"Anytime you have a good 2-year-old, you're thinking about the Derby," Casse said. "That's why we brought him to Louisville and ran him in the Iroqouis, to see how he handled Churchill. You always have a focus on the first Saturday in May. If he pulls off the win Saturday, I think he'd have to be considered one of the best 2-year-olds in the country."
Uncaptured will be tested by 12 other juveniles in the Kentucky Jockey Club, including grade I winner Joha. Bluegrass Equine Bloodstock homebred Joha won the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) on the Polytrack at Keeneland before finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
The Kentucky Jockey Club will mark the first dirt start for Joha, by Johar--Mujado, by Mujadil.
Other 2-year-olds who have shown potential inlude Frac Daddy , a Scat Daddy colt who rolled to a 9 3/4-length victory in a maiden special weight race Nov. 3 at Churchill; Dewey Square, a Bernardini colt who has won his first two starts by a combined 15 3/4 lengths at Hoosier Park and Churchill Downs; and Will Take Charge , a maiden winner at Keeneland who is a half brother to Grade I winner Take Charge Indy.
$150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II, Race 11, approximate post 5:35 p.m. EST), 2yo, 1 1/16 miles
PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Java’s War (KY), V. Lebron, K. McPeek
2. Lew and Mike (KY), B. Hernandez Jr., T. Drury Jr.
3. Fear the Kitten (IL), M. Pedroza, L. Cotto
4. Uncaptured (ON), M. Mena, M. Case
5. Track Rocker (KY), S. Bridgmohan, N. Zito
6. Frac Daddy (KY), D. Cohen, K. McPeek
7. Will Take Charge (KY), J. Court, D. Lukas
8. Tesseron (KY), J. Bravo, J. Carroll
9. Dewey Square (KY), C. Lanerie, D. Romans
10. Joha (KY), J. Rocco Jr., M. Meeker
11. Indiano Jones (KY), J. Castanon, M. Casse
12. Positively (KY), C. Borel, P. Byrne
13. Silver Tongued (OH), M. Franklin, J. Greenhill
All carry 122 pounds.