Cathy and Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Thiskyhasnolimit rallied from far off the pace to win the 28th running of the $120,800 Iroquois for 2-year-olds by a length over Uh Oh Bango on opening day of the 21-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan for trainer Steve Asmussen, Thiskyhasnolimit raced in eighth place in the run down the backstretch as Raging Wit and Oh Charlie Boy dueled for the lead through fractions of :22.81 and :46.26.
Approaching the far turn, Bridgmohan had the Thiskyhasnolimit in the clear on the outside and had dead aim on Three Day Rush and Uh Oh Bango who had forged to the lead. Thiskyhasnolimit surged past Uh Oh Bango at the eighth pole and drew off for the victory.
Thiskyhasnolimit, a maiden winner here in June and third in the Grade II Futurity at Belmont Park in his previous start, covered the mile on a “fast” main track in 1:37.36.
The victory, the second in five starts for the Kentucky-bred son of Sky Mesa, was worth $71,151 and increased Thiskyhasnolimit’s career bankroll to $136,236.
Thiskyhasnolimit returned $28.20, $13 and $6.60. Uh Oh Bango, ridden by Glenn Corbett rewarded his backers with mutuels of $8.60 and $6.20 with Soaring Empire, under Eddie Castro, returning $5 to show another three lengths back. Favored Dublin finished seventh in the field of 10.
POST-RACE QUOTES – THE IROQUOIS
STEVE ASMUSSEN, trainer of THISKYHASNOLIMIT, winner: “He trained extremely well here coming into this race and he put forth the kind of race we were expecting. Obviously, we were extremely disappointed with his previous two starts because we always had high hopes for him. He looks to appreciate the added distance. His next target will be the Kentucky Jockey Club (the $150,000-added Grade II race at 1 1/16 miles) on closing day.”
SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN, jockey of THISKYHASNOLIMIT, winner: “We had a great trip. He broke well and we got to settle into a great position on the backside. I was just very patient and waited for a hole to open up and turning for home it did. He gave me the acceleration that I needed to get home. He is a pretty nice horse. He was a very professional racehorse today.”
KORY OWENS, trainer of UH OH BANGO, second: “I really don’t think I had him tight enough for the mile. Especially it being the one-turn mile, I think that’s a lot harder. It’s definitely the toughest sprint race I think you can find.”
Q: Will you come back late in the month for the Kentucky Jockey Club? “We’ll take him back home to Oklahoma and just see how he’s doing back there. I think a lot of the horse. He was a little rank at the beginning and we tried to kind of back off of ‘em a little bit. It was a good experience for him.”
GLENN CORBETT, rider of UH OH BANGO, second: “He run huge! I’m very, very happy with his performance. He was a little bit fresh at the first part of it, but we kind of figured that since he was coming off sprint races. It looks like he can run with these kind, that’s for sure. The one-turn mile is pretty demanding, and he might have got just a hair short on us, but there’s no embarrassment, that’s for sure.”
CAM GAMBOLATI, trainer of SOARING EMPIRE, third: “He ran well. He was a little timid in between horses – he’s just inexperienced. He’s a talented horse and he ran as good as I could expect coming in off just one race at 5 ½ furlongs. Hopefully he’s fine, and I think closing day here a mile and a sixteenth (in the Kentucky Jockey Club) will hit him right in the head.”
D. WAYNE LUKAS, trainer of DUBLIN, seventh: “He never got into the race like he normally does. He usually just pulls himself into the race, but he didn’t today. I just don’t know. He’s been training wonderful. We’ll just step back and analyze him and see.”