Officer Rocket Takes 3-Race Streak into Iroquois

(from Churchill Downs report)
Frank Fletcher's Officer Rocket will put a three-race winning streak on the line when he takes on six rivals in the $100,000-added Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

The one-mile race for 2-year-olds is co-featured with the $100,000-added Pocahontas (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies on a card that opens the Churchill fall meet that runs to Nov. 25. Eleven races consisting exclusively of 2-year-olds make up the opening day card, kicking off Breeders' Cup Week at Churchill Downs. Racing's Championship Day returns to the Louisville track on Nov. 4.

Officer Rocket, a British-bred son of the hot first-year sire Officer, is coming off a dead-heat finish with Got the Last Laugh for the victory over a "sloppy" track in the $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III) at Arlington Park on Sept. 10. The Robert Holthus-trained colt added that win to earlier victories in Arlington's Spectacular Bid, a race he dominated by 13 lengths, and an easy victory in an Arlington Park maiden race. His only setback was a troubled third-place finish in his debut at Churchill Downs. He is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the Iroquois.

Back-to-back stakes wins would have tempted many trainers to give Officer Rocket a try in next week's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), but Holthus said that was not a major consideration for Officer Rocket.

"He's not a great big, stout, mature horse, and we wanted to have something for next year," said Holthus. "He's always been able to outwork all the rest of the 2-year-olds I had. He's put together a good record and is just a nice little horse to be around."

His opposition includes Claiborne Farm's stakes-winning Passport and a promising newcomer in Stonestreet Stable's Tiz Wonderful

Passport is a homebred son of Pulpit who won the $200,000 Miller Lite Cradle at River Downs on Sept. 4.

Tiz Wonderful, a son of 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Tiznow trained by Scott Blasi, won his only start at Saratoga by 12 ½lengths. Garrett Gomez is scheduled to ride Tiz Wonderful.

Another contender could be Darley Stable's Incriminate, fourth to King of the Roxy in the Belmont Futurity (gr. II) for trainer Eoin Harty.

$100,000-added Iroquois Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4 p.m.), 2-Year-Olds, One Mile
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. What a Tale (NY), Julien R. Leparoux, 117, 6/1
2. Tiz Wonderful (KY), Garrett K. Gomez, 117, 3/1
3. Shore (KY), Willie Martinez, 119, 15/1
4. Incriminate (KY), Robby Albarado, 117, 7/2
5. Officer Rocket (GB), Mark Guidry, 123, 2/1
6. Passport (KY), Corey J. Lanerie, 121, 4/1
7. Starbase (FL), Calvin H. Borel, 117, 15/1