Uncaptured, who scored a 5 ½-length victory in the Iroquois (Grade III) in his last start, heads a field of 13 colts and geldings entered for Saturday’s 86th running of the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club, a “Road to the Kentucky Derby” Prep Season race, is co-featured with the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GIII) on Saturday’s 12-race “Stars of Tomorrow II” program, which features racing exclusively for 2-year-olds. It will go as Race 11 at 5:35 p.m. ET and the Top 4 finishers will receive 10-4-2-1 points, respectively.
John Oxley’s Uncaptured began his career with a narrow victory in a maiden special at Woodbine and then scored stakes victories in the Clarendon, Vandal and Swynford at the Toronto track. He suffered his first and only loss in the Grey (GIII), but rebounded to dominate a field of 10 in the Iroquois.
“He’s always acted like he was a little on the special side,” trainer Mark Casse said. “The way these things go, it’s about how they progress and he’s progressed. It looks like he’s a realy nice horse, but we still have to figure out if he’s top of the class. Hopefully on Saturday, he’ll pass another test.”
Uncaptured will seek to become the first 2-year-old to complete the Iroqouis – Kentucky Jockey Club double since Tiz Wonderful accomplished the feat in 2006. He will be ridden by Miguel Mena and break from post four.
Uncaptured’s main rivals in the Kentucky Jockey Club could be Iroquois runner-up Positively, undefeated Dewey Square, impressive maiden winner Frac Daddy and Grey runner-up Tesseron.
Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Positively was second best in the Iroquois after finishing seventh behind Joha in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland. Never worse than third in four starts at Churchill Downs, Positively also was second in the Bashford Manor (GIII) during the Spring Meet. The Pat Byrne-trained Positively will break from post 12 under Calvin Borel, who entered the week just four wins shy of becoming the 26th jockey to reach the 5,000-win milestone.
Siena Farms LLC’s homebred Dewey Square scored an 11 ¾-length victory at Hoosier Park in his career debut and followed-up that effort with a four-length score in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill Downs on the “Stars of Tomorrow I” undercard. The Dale Romans-trained Dewey Square will try stakes company for the first time when breaking from post nine under Corey Lanerie.
The Fall Meet at Churchill Downs is known for showcasing talented 2-year-olds and few have been more impressive this meet than Frac Daddy, who drew off to a 9 ¾-length victory in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special on Nov. 3. In preparation for the Kentucky Jockey Club, Frac Daddy breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs on Nov. 17 in 1:00.20, the fastest of 51 at the distance.
“(Frac Daddy) did incredible,” trainer Ken McPeek said following the workout. “He did it easy. He’s a very talented horse.”
Frac Daddy will break from post six and be ridden by David Cohen.
Donver Stable’s Tesseron enters the Kentucky Jockey Club off a runner-up effort to River Seven in the Grey. Prior to that start, the Josie Carroll-trained Tesseron finished a half-length ahead of River Seven to win his career debut. He will make his third career start in the Kentucky Jockey Club when he breaks from post eight under Joe Bravo.
The Kentucky Jockey club field also includes Bluegrass Equine Bloodstock LLC’s Joha, winner of the Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland. In his most recent start, the Mike Maker trainee finishing a troubled eighth of 14 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. He will make his dirt debut in the Kentucky Jockey Club and break from post 10 under Joe Rocco Jr.
The field for the Kentucky Jockey Club, from the rail out (with jockey): Java’s War (Victor Lebron), Lew and Mike (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Fear the Kitten (Marcelino Pedroza Jr.), Uncaptured (Mena), Track Rocker (Shaun Bridgmohan), Frac Daddy (Cohen), Will Take Charge (Jon Court), Tesseron (Bravo), Dewey Square (Lanerie), Joha (Rocco Jr.), Indiano Jones (Jesus Castanon), Positively (Borel) and Silver Tongued (Malcolm Franklin).
In just seven years, Stars of Tomorrow – Churchill Downs’ two days of racing entirely devoted to rising 2-year-old stars – has been the launching pad for numerous graded stakes winners. Twenty-seven participants became Grade I winners, including Kentucky Derby 137 champ Super Saver, 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, recent Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner Fort Larned and this year’s Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can. Fifteen became millionaires: Court Vision, Rachel Alexandra, Fort Larned, Lawyer Ron, Pure Clan, Shackleford, Super Saver, Macho Again, Giant Oak, First Dude, Swift Temper, General Quarters, Fly Down, Believe You Can and Any Given Saturday.
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