The Case For Speed in the Iroquois

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Ed DeRosa

September 11th, 2015

Stakes-level two-year-olds this time of year are often known for their precocity yet the 12-horse Iroquois Stakes features just two horses as designated “E” types in the Ultimate Past Performances:  maiden Condominium and maiden winner Rated R Superstar.

In fact, those are the only two “E” or “E/P” types in the entire field and the only two horses to have led a race at the first or second call. That all adds up to a powerful speed advantage to me, and at 8-to-1 each on the morning line I’ll gladly play both of them (especially considering Just Wicked looks so formidable at even money in the preceding Pocahontas Stakes).

There were 54 races at 1 1/16 miles during the spring-summer meeting (April 25-June 27) at Churchill Downs, and “E” or “E/P” types combined to 63% of those races.

As much as speed is an asset for Rated R Superstar, the post is a hindrance. He’s in the 10 spot for Calvin “boo boo Bo-rail” Borel, and posts 8+ had just a 5% strike rate in those aforementioned 8 ½-furlong races with an Impact Value of just 0.45.

Condominium is much better drawn in post four and should be leading through the first half of the race. The lack of other speed gives confidence that Borel can work out a ground-saving trip behind Condominium a la the maiden score at Ellis, and again, at 8-to-1 morning line I’ll be happy if either wins.