Tipsheet: The 2021 Iroquois Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 16th, 2021

An interesting field of 11 two-year-old prospects will vie in Saturday’s $300,000 Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. The competitive 1 1/16-mile contest attracted a precocious bunch of youngsters for the “Win and You’re In” challenge series event, with the winner earning an automatic entry to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar on November 5.

Iroquois Stakes Picks

  • #8 Major General
  • #9 Guntown
  • #10 Husband Material
  • #5 Magnolia Midnight
  • #3 Roger McQueen

Iroquois Stakes Wagers

  • $15 win and Place #8 Major General
  • $3 exacta key box 8 with 3,5,9,10
  • 50-cent trifecta key 8 with 3,5,9,10 with all

Iroquois Stakes Contenders

#1 TOUGH TO TAME -- Chris Davis pupil has shown steady improvement from a trio of starts to begin his career. The Indiana allowance victor makes his route debut from the rail and should sit a nice trip throughout. Class riser will need a lifetime best to challenge against this cast late, however.

#2 LUCKY BOSS -- Kenny McPeek charge was game in defeat when a close second in the Juvenile S. at Ellis Park most recently. The Street Boss youngster has moved forward with each lifetime appearance to date, and he fits as a top-three player with another move in the right direction on Saturday under Brian Hernandez.

#3 ROGER MCQUEEN -- Expensive two-year-old purchase was all heart in fending off a pair of foes to win the Juvenile S. at Ellis Park most recently. Talented Larry Rivelli trainee handled seven panels last time out, and he rates as a sleeper while making his two-turn debut on Saturday. Adam Beschizza will be in the stirrups.

#4 STRIKE HARD -- Flashback colt looked the part in graduating at one mile at Gulfstream Park in his latest endeavor. Kentucky-bred didn’t beat the deepest field in that outing, but he did post a robust 102 Brisnet Late Pace figure, and he could be a late threat at a price while making his stakes debut.

#5 MAGNOLIA MIDNIGHT -- Dallas Stewart trainee appreciated the move to the main oval when rolling home with authority at Colonial Downs in his second career try. $320,000 son of Midnight Storm will face much better on Saturday, and he has to prove capable of negotiating a route of ground, but I think that he will be live in the Iroquois S. under the guidance of Corey Lanerie.

#6 STELLAR TAP -- First of two from the Steve Asmussen barn led virtually throughout in a sharp Saratoga debut win. Gray son of top sire Tapit is bred to run long and looks like a fine long-term prospect, but I fear he might be overbet in this deep field. The obvious contender will have Ricardo Santana in the silks.

#7 RED KNOBS -- Union Rags colt showed marked improvement second time out when rolling home a smart maiden winner at Ellis Park. The juvenile faces a much tougher assignment in this spot, but he could rally into a placing with another step forward on Saturday.

#8 MAJOR GENERAL -- Top selection never got a breather in his first offering, but he also never faltered in posting a game tally on debut for Todd Pletcher. The son of Constitution shows a pair of solid morning drills in the interim, and I think he will prosper with the additional ground with which to work with in his first run beneath the Twin Spires. Javier Castellano inherits the mount.

#9 GUNTOWN -- Second Asmussen entrant powered home to be a daylight winner at Ellis Park when going one mile in his second outing. The $750,000 son of Gun Runner is bred to be really good, and I feel his ceiling is very high for a conditioner pressing all of the right buttons this season. Top contender will be closing best of all under Tyler Gaffalione.

#10 HUSBAND MATERIAL -- Jimmy Toner pupil didn’t beat much when graduating at Delaware Park in a three-horse field, but the colt won by 20 lengths and did so in swift fashion. The American Pharoah chestnut is a wildcard in the cast, but I love the aggressive placement to tackle graded foes coming off that appearance. Florent Geroux riding adds to his appeal.

#11 BOURBON HEIST -- Maiden from the Ian Wilkes barn came up just shy of graduating in a pair of recent sprints at Saratoga, and he could be the one with a big step forward in his route debut on Saturday. The bay son of Practical Joke has displayed a nice turn of foot going a shorter distance, and if he can duplicate that at two turns he rates a winning chance despite drawing widest. Joe Talamo has the call.