Lantern Hill Farm, LLC’s Motor City caught pace-setting Seven Lively Sins at the eighth pole and drew off to win the 30th running of the Grade III, $110,700 Iroquois for 2-year-olds by three-quarters of a length at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Calvin Borel, Motor City lagged at the back of the field of seven as Seven Lively Sins led the field through fractions of :22.99 and :46.28. At the head of the stretch, Seven Lively Sins shook off challenges from Fine and Chalybeate Springs as Borel skimmed the rail on Motor City with dead aim on the leader.
With a clear path, Motor City caught Seven Lively Sins with a furlong to go en route to completing the mile on a fast main track in 1:37.18. The victory gave trainer Ian Wilkes his second victory in the Iroquois to go with the 2008 triumph of Capt. Candyman Can.
A homebred son from the first crop of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, Motor City improved his record to 2-1-1 in five races and increased his earnings to $99,183 with Sunday’s first-place check of $67,263.
Motor City, sent off as the third choice, returned $8.20, $3.40 and $2.40. Seven Lively Sins, ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $3 and $2.20 with favored Mr. Bowling, ridden by Rajiv Maragh, finishing 3 ¾ lengths back in third and paying $2.20 to show.
Completing the field in order were Fine, Chalybeate Springs, Hollywood Script and Purely Determined.
IROQUOIS STAKES QUOTES
Ian Wilkes, trainer of Motor City (winner) – “He (Motor City) ran really well today. The race set up like we wanted. Sometimes it works out perfect. We’ll make sure he comes out of the race fine and then we’ll definitely look at the (Kentucky) Jockey Club.”
Calvin Borel, jockey of Motor City (winner) – “He ran like his daddy (Street Sense). We knew he was a good one all along and Ian (Wilkes) never gave up on him. We hope to be here next year (for the Kentucky Derby).”
Larry Jones, trainer of Mr. Bowling (third as 7-5 favorite) – “He ran OK for his first time stepping on this racetrack. He’ll keep improving and we’ll have a decent one.”
Rajiv Maragh, jockey of Mr. Bowling (third as 7-5 favorite) – “He tried hard and he was coming. There’s no real excuse.”