2022 Iroquois Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
On Saturday, September 17, nine two-year-old colts will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. The event holds two designations: it is a challenge event for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and also the first prep race for the 2022 Kentucky Derby, offering points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers. The race offers a purse of $300,000 and the winner gets an entry-fees paid spot in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) on November 26 at Churchill, which race also offers Derby points!
Brad Cox again puts the saddle on Jace’s Road, a last-out maiden winner at Ellis Park while two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill has shipped Jin Tong to Churchill. Kenny McPeek will run Hayes Strike and Honed while Steve Asmussen puts the saddle on Echo Again, a Gun Runner-sired colt, who piqued interest when winning his first start by 6 3/4 lengths. In his debut at Churchill Downs in July, Damon’s Mound impressed with a 12 1/2-length win followed by a win in the Saratoga Special (G2).
Keep on reading for a full field analysis as well as the top contenders and trends, and to learn how to watch and wager on the Iroquois online!
Iroquois Stakes 2022 Information
Race Date: Saturday, September 17, 2022
Track: Churchill Downs
Post Time: 4:55 p.m. Eastern time
Distance: 1 1/16 miles on dirt
Age/Sex: Two-year-old Juvenile colts
Where to Watch: TVG.com
Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Iroquois Stakes Odds
The field for the Iroquois drew Wednesday, September 14, with morning lines assigned the next day. The morning line is a useful guide to which horses will be favored and who will be a longer shot in the field, although it does not determine the final price. It is still a good idea to keep watching the odds on race day before placing your bets.
This is the field for the 2022 Iroquois including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds.
|1||Jin Tong||Doug O'Neill||Armando Ayuso||15-1|
|2||Zaici||Robertino Diodoro||David Cohen||20-1|
|3||Damon's Mound||Michelle Lovell||Gabriel Saez||2-1|
|4||Jace's Road||Brad Cox||Joseph Talamo||6-1|
|5||Hayes Strike||Ken McPeek||Brian Hernandez Jr||12-1|
|6||Curly Jack||Tom Amoss||Edgar Morales||8-1|
|7||Honed||Ken McPeek||Brian Hernandez Jr||15-1|
|8||Echo Again||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana Jr||9-5|
|9||Confidence Game||Keith Desormeaux||James Graham||12-1|
Watching the odds as post time draws closer will help you make smarter bets. If a horse you think will be a very short prince is instead cold on the board, you can assess whether you are getting value or whether there is a reason they may run underneath form. Alternatively, if a long shot garners a lot of betting interest, you can consider whether the horse is an underlay or if there may be a reason that you (or the morning line maker) missed for why they are so live.
In short, horse racing is a game of information. Make sure to watch FanDuel TV and TVG.com for up-to-date news and odds so you can make the smartest bets on the Iroquois.
Iroquois Stakes Prep Results
The headliner in the Iroquois, Damon’s Mound, is trainer Michelle Lovell’s first starter in a Kentucky Derby qualifying race. The undefeated Grade 2 winner dominated in his debut on July 2 at Churchill Downs, defeating a field of 10 rivals by 12 1/2 lengths. In his second start, Lovell shipped the Florida-bred son of Girvin to Saratoga, where he conquered a field of four in the Saratoga Special (G2) by 3 1/4 lengths.
Winchell Thoroughbreds’ highly touted Saratoga maiden special weight winner Echo Again is the top rival to Damon’s Mound in the Iroquois. On August 20, the son of former Horse of the Year, Gun Runner, romped to a 6 3/4-length debut score under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., filling in for regular pilot Joel Rosario.
Two-year-old Jace’s Road is another contender with plenty of star power that was entered in the Iroquois. The son of Quality Road was a first-out winner on August 6 at Ellis Park under jockey Joe Talamo. Jace’s Road was a $510,000 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase in 2021 and was trained by Brad Cox. He will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post 6.
Iroquois Stakes Contenders
Hayes Strike: Hayes Strike, a homebred from Dixiana Farms, Kentucky, broke his maiden in his second try as he roared away to a four-and-a-half length victory to break his maiden. The Connect colt, a half-brother to graded-stakes winner Senior Investment, is trained by Kenny McPeek.
Zaici: Laoban’s ridgling son kicked off his career at Churchill Downs, where he won his second start on the front end by almost two lengths in a six-furlong sprint against 11 other 2-year-olds. Zaici was a distant fifth at odds of 12-1 at last month’s Juvenile at Ellis Park. He was, however, unable to get the early lead going seven furlongs.
Damon's Mound: Damon’s Mound backed up his smashing 12 1/2 debut romper under the Twin Spiers on July 2 by securing a 4-1 win over undefeated favorite Gulfport on August 13 at the Saratoga Special (G2). He is also the only horse in the field with a graded-stakes victory and won both races with a stalking trip where he was firmly in the lead at the stretch call.
Jin Tong: The Calumet Farm runner broke his maiden in a small field at Los Alamitos in July at odds of 18-1 for two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O’Neill. He broke slowly in the Best Pal (G3) at Del Mar and finished a well-beaten fifth. Since then, Jin Tong has been training at Keeneland.
Curly Jack: Good Magic’s son was a winner at first asking for Tom Amoss, who is known for having his young horses ready to run. Curly Jack drew away from his rivals with a gate-to-wire victory of four lengths and was fifth in a full field in the Sanford (G3) at Saratoga after he was challenged for the lead. Curly Jack rallied from behind and got the lead at Ellis Park last month but was beaten by a head in the seven-furlong Juvenile Stakes as the favorite.
Jace's Road: Top Choice, Jace's Road, trained by Brad Cox, won his debut Saturday at Ellis Park by 6 1/4 lengths after pressing the early pace. The two-year-old West Point Thoroughbred was well-regarded as the 7-5 favorite in a field of 11. Jace’s Road spent the summer training at Churchill.
Honed: Sire Sharp Azteca has produced many two-year-old winners from his first crop this year, including this Kenny McPeek runner. He beat a field of four that was reduced when it came off the turf and was run at a mile on a good main track at Ellis in July. Sent off at 3-2, Honed won by a head with a closing move.
Confidence Game: Confidence Game is another Iroquois probable by Candy Ride and out of Zenyatta’s half-sister Eblouissante. Third in his debut, he was beaten by 13 lengths by Damon’s Mound, in a predictably educational debut for the barn. In his second start, on August 13, he learned plenty to romp over the same six-furlong trip at Churchill, now on the pace before kicking clear. Although the 80 Speed rating is unremarkable, he has the profile to keep improving.
Echo Again: Echo again is quite possibly the most enchanting of Asmussen’s Saratoga winners earning a 99 Speed rating in his August 20 debut. Named after champion Echo Zulu, a fellow Winchell Thoroughbreds colorbearer, Echo Again is by the same hot sire in Gun Runner. Making the defeat look easy, the gray ran his rivals off their feet through rapid fractions in a 6 1/2-furlong time of 1:15.89.
Iroquois Stakes Past Winners Past Performances
Echo Again, Damon’s Mound, and Jace’s Road, the top three favorites in the Iroquois, were impressive winners to start their careers. But now, for the first time, they must stretch out to 1 1/16 miles and go around two turns.
Damon’s Mound is the only horse in the Iroquois field with two career wins. And those were impressive wins with a 3 1/4-length victory in the Saratoga Special (G2). Echo Again showed an abundance of speed when he was a debut winner at the Spa by almost seven lengths. Jace’s Road lived up to his $510,000 yearling purchase price when he won his first start at Ellis Park by more than six lengths.
These three promising two-year-olds are legitimate win contenders, but they will have to answer some distance questions in the Iroquois.
Iroquois Stakes Undercard
The 1 1/16-mile Iroquois was carded as Race 9 of 11. The five stakes will be run as the last five races on the card and compose an all-stakes 50-cent Pick 5.
Churchill Downs Race Course
Home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is based in Louisville, Kentucky. It is arguably the most well-known Thoroughbred horse racing track in the world. The twin spires, built in 1895, above the grandstands are the most noticeable architectural feature of Churchill Downs and are generally considered the symbol of the Derby. The horse racing track lists the maximum occupancy at 50,000. However, on Derby Day, numbers can easily top 150,000.
The racetrack occupies 147 acres, featuring three separate horse racing tracks: one-mile dirt, an oval racetrack, and a seven-furlong turf race course. Churchill Downs’ main dirt track is one mile in circumference, about 80 feet wide, with a 120-foot-wide section for the starting gate. The secondary turf track, inside the main dirt track, is 7/8 of a mile in circumference and roughly 80 feet wide.
Iroquois Stakes FAQ
Q: When is the Iroquois Stakes?
A: Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 4:55 p.m. Eastern time.
Q: Where is the Iroquois Stakes?
A: It takes place at Churchill Downs Race Course in Louisville, Kentucky.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Iroquois Stakes?
A: Bill Mott (1983, 1990, 1991, 2007) and Dale Romans (2013, 2016, 2019, 2020) have the most wins in the Iroquois with four wins each.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Iroquois Stakes?
A: Jace’s Road, from the Brad Cox barn, has the most attractive odds and is the top choice.
Q: Who is the best Iroquois Stakes jockey?
A: Pat Day leads all riders with four victories (1985, 1990, 1997, 2002). Among jockeys who are riding in the 2022 edition, John Velazquez (riding Malathaat) leads with three wins, most recently with Love and Pride in 2012. Joel Rosario (Clairiere) has won twice while Julien Leparoux (Crazy Beautiful) has won once.
Q: Who won the Iroquois Stakes in 2021?
A: WinStar Farm and Siena Farms’ 3-year-old Colt, Major General, won the race in 2021.