Churchill Downs: Iroquois and Pocahontas Stakes Analsysis

Chris Adams

Opening weekend has two key prep races for the Breeder’s Cup. The Iroquois and Pocahontas stakes will both be run at Churchill Downs. A victory ensures the winner a place in the starting gate at the 2021 Breeder’s Cup.

Churchill Downs Saturday

This weekend should be perfect for kicking off the meet. Throughout the entire week the temperature will remain in the mid to upper 80s with little to no chance for precipitation. This should ensure that all races are contested over fast and firm conditions.

The card features 5 stakes races and has plenty of great betting opportunities for players. The late pick 5 includes 4 stakes races before finishing with an allowance race. This sequence should peak player’s interest as it has a tendency to be more predictable than sequences littered with maidens and low level claimers.

Watch and Wager on Churchill Downs

Saturday will mark one of the more popular recent traditions at Churchill Downs known as “Downs After Dark”. This signifies that racing will take place at night under the lights as opposed to their more traditional early afternoon post times.

The first post is at 6:00 pm ET and can be viewed easily from most wagering platforms including Twinspires. Twinspires is run by Churchill Downs Inc. and offers many great features including free past performances from Brisnet and Betshare which allows you to split the costs of your bets with friends.

Twinspires is currently offering a $200 new player sign-on bonus. Details can be found on their promotions page.

Churchill Downs Race Analysis

Race 1

Post: 6:00 PM ET; Purse: $32,000 Claiming, 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 7

#1 DULCIMER DAME is at odds of 4-1 and boasts the best stamina and class of the group. #5 MAJESTIC BLEND is at odds of 7-2 and in great form for strong connections. #4 BLONDE BY NATURE feels like a bargain at 10-1 with the best speed figures and record at the distance. #2 HER GIANT is also 7-2 and not without hope.

Selections: 1-5-4-2

Race 2

Post: 6:28 PM ET; Purse: $32,000 Claiming, 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 9

#5 TAOS is at odds of 5-2 with competitive speed figures. The horse also looks to get the best of the race flow in today’s race. #3 EXEMPLAR is 7-2 on the morning line and has the stamina and class to be a player. #2 ROCKANDAHARDPLACE is at odds of 9-2 and has recent speed figures to suggest a winning effort is possible here. #8 RARE FORM is 15-1 and is worthy of inclusion at that price.

Selections: 5-3-2-8

Race 3

Post: 6:56 PM ET; Purse: $300,000 Open Mind S., 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 5

This is the first stakes race of the day from Churchill Downs. #1 MUNDAYE CALL is at odds of 7-2 goes out for top connections with speed figures that are solid against this bunch. #3 AIN'T NO ELMERS is at odds of 4-1 may just get the run of the race. #5 BELL'S THE ONE comes in as the favorite based on the stamina and class shown in recent starts. #2 SCONSIN is another major player, but needs some pace to run at.

Selections: 1-3-5-2

Race 4

Post: 7:26 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10

#5 GENERAL STRIKE comes in at 3-1 and of the experienced lot has the best numbers. #2 LEGENDARY LORE is at odds of 10-1 and is well bred for this spot. #9 CAMP DAVID at odds of 5-1 is another one worth a look. #1 MUMAYAZ is at odds of 12-1 and doesn’t have any red flags. Ideally I would like to see a bit of early money on this one pre-race to suggest a live runner. If that happens I may upgrade this one.

Selections: 5-2-9-1

Race 5

Post: 7:57 PM ET; Purse: $120,000 Maiden Special Weight, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 10

#5 SEAL BEACH is at odds of 9-2 and has the best foundation out of the runners in the field. #8 YONO is 6-1 on the morning line and is bred to like the conditions today. #1 SURFER DUDE performed well in the previous attempt at this distance. #6 CALL ME MIDNIGHT is at odds of 20-1 and might get a perfect set up to blow up the tote board.

Selections: 5-8-1-6

Race 6

Post: 8:30 PM ET; Purse: $50,000 Maiden Claiming, 7 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 14

The final maiden race of the day at Churchill Downs looks like the perfect spot for an upset. #8 LAURA'S ANGLE is a price play at 8-1 and goes out for good connections. #10 INSPEIGHTFUL is another longshot at 10-1 and is good form against a group of horses who haven’t yet proven to be winners. #14 EDEN is at odds of 7-2 and makes sense on a lot of metrics, but an outside post may make this one vulnerable at a short price.. #9 PEYTON'S COLLEGE is at odds of 6-1 and ran well at this distance in previous attempts.

Selections: 8-10-14-9

Race 7

Post: 9:05 PM ET; Purse: $275,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society S., 6 Furlongs on Dirt; Entries: 6

The Louisville Thoroughbred Society Stakes kicks off the late pick 5 from Churchill downs. Stakes races tend to be a bit more formful than other races because the horses usually have more established form. With that #3 JUST MIGHT is at odds of 5-2 makes sense on a number of metrics and looks like the one to beat. #5 BANGO comes in favored and has done little wrong to this point. #2 ENDORSED is 6-1 and wouldn’t be a total shocker here based on the company kept of late. #6 MIGHTY MISCHIEF is another at the top of the odds board who has proven ability at the distance.

Selections: 3-5-2-6

Race 8

Post: 9:39 PM ET; Purse: $300,000 Pocahontas S., 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 11

The Pocahontas Stakes is 1 of 2 Breeder’s Cup Challenge races on the card. #9 HIDDEN CONNECTION is at odds of 9-2 and is proven at the distance. #4 ONTHEONESANDTWOS is at odds of 5-2 and has to be respected based on the metrics and projected pace scenarios. #2 GODDESS OF FIRE is a mid price horse that may be rounding into form at the right time. #7 KNEESNHIPS could be a key player in vertical exotics, though may not have much of a shot at finding the winner’s circle.

Selections: 9-4-2-7

Race 9

Post: 10:11 PM ET; Purse: $300,000 Iroquois S., 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 11

#8 MAJOR GENERAL is at odds of 4-1 and has speed figures and stamina to suggest this one is a major player to get the 2nd Breeder’s Cup ticket offered up at Churchill Downs on Saturday. #6 STELLAR TAP is at odds of 3-1 and was brilliant earlier this year. This one should definitely be on the tickets. With shorter prices in the top half of the selection I will look for value in the third and fourth spots. #4 STRIKE HARD is at odds of 10-1 and may have the early pace to be a threat. #10 HUSBAND MATERIAL is at odds of 15-1 and has proven that the distance shouldn’t be an issue.

Selections: 8-6-4-10

Race 10

Post: 10:42 PM ET; Purse: $400,000 Locust Grove S., 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt; Entries: 7

#7 SHEDARESTHEDEVIL is the heavy favorite and if she runs her race should be cruising to victory here. Beyond that one cases can be made for #1 CRYSTAL BALL (8-1), #3 LADY KATE (15-1), and #6 OUR SUPER FREAK (8-1). That being said it feels like that everyone will be running for 2nd behind the #7.

Selections: 7-1-3-6 (Best Bet: #7)

Race 11

Post: 11:10 PM ET; Purse: $127,000 Allowance, 1 Mile on Dirt; Entries: 10

#4 EXCESSION is at odds of 8-1, but figures as a major player based on speed and pace figures. #5 JENNINGS is 4-1 on the line and may just get the best run of it. #6 FLINT RIDGE at 7-2 and is in good form. #1 ARABIAN PRINCE is at odds of 5-1 has been good at the mile distance and has a shot here.

Selections: 4-5-6-1

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