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Churchill Downs to Host Kentucky Derby, Oaks Qualifying Races

Churchill Downs to Host Kentucky Derby: The home of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks – Churchill Downs – will host the first points qualifiers for the two races on Saturday. First up is the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes, a one-mile race for two-year-old colts. It offers 10-5-3-2-1 qualifying points for the first five finishers of the event. Second is the Pocahontas Stakes, another Grade 3, one-mile race for two-year-old fillies. Just like the Iroquois, the Pocahontas gives 10-5-3-2-1 points for first five placers. The race will bring excitement to horseracing aficionados who seek to world-class action on the race track and earn big money thanks to high-stakes sports picks and parlays that are available online.

Churchill Downs to Host Kentucky Derby: Nine Horses Answer to Iroquois Challenge

The first qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby rolls off on Saturday with the 42nd running of the Iroquois Stakes. Nine horses are entered in the one-mile race that will offer a guaranteed purse of US$300,000. The race will flag off at 4:55 PM ET and these horses will attempt to earn the first points for the 2024 Kentucky Derby. The entries include Liberal Arts, West Saratoga, Union Roll, Edified, Market Street, Seize The Grey, Gettysburg Address, Risk It and Patriot Spirit.

Three horses are expected to gain initial notice as they have raced in different stakes races. These are Edified, Market Street and Seize The Grey. Edified came in fifth in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special. Market Street was better than Edified in the Saratoga Special as he finished second. However, the two-year-old horse slumped to seventh place in the With Anticipation Stakes. Seize The Grey checked in third in his last race in Skidmore at Saratoga. Also expected to make an impression in the race are Liberal Arts, who finished first at a Maiden Special Weights Race on August 13 at Ellis Park, and West Saratoga, who also topped a similar race a week earlier. Todd Pletcher-trained Union Roll stormed to an impressive debut at Monmouth, besting seven other horses in a six-furlong (1.207-kilometer) race.

Three other entries who gave notice in their respective MSW races are also in the running for the Iroquois trophy. Gettysburg Address gave an awesome peek of his talent by topping 10 other thoroughbreds at Ellis Park on August 6. In Saratoga, Risk It staved off six other opponents to take a maiden special race win on August 19. Patriot Special defeated seven other entries at the Colonial Downs in a seven-furlong (1.408-kilometer) race on August 25. The race is wide open for every horse entered in the Iroquois. However, veteran racehorses Edified, Market Street and Seize The Grey have a slight advantage in the nine-race field due to their track experience.

Kentucky Oaks Prospects Race in Pocahontas Stakes

Nine two-year-old fillies are entered in the Grade 3 Pocahontas Stakes on Saturday, September 16. The start time for the Kentucky Oaks prep race is at 12:45 ET and it offers 10-5-3-2-1 points for the top five finishers in the event. Experts tab four horses as the entries to watch in this race. These are Empire Island, Hot Beach, Riperton and Youalmosthadme. Empire Island, a 5-1 favorite, rallied to win her Maiden Special Weight race in Saratoga on August 6.

She outclassed eight other horses in the six-furlong event. Meanwhile, two-year-old filly Hot Beach won her second start – the Ellis Park Debutante – after checking in second in her first start at Ellis Park. Riperton was second to Hot Beach at the Ellis Park Debutante. In her previous outing, she bested 11 other horses in a seven-furlong race. Kentucky Juvenile Stakes winner Youalmosthadme emerged victorious in her first two starts at Keeneland (MSW) and Churchill Downs before finishing third third at the Ellis Park Debutante behind Riperton and Hot Beach.

The Road to the 2024 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Begins

Other entries include Peignoir, Raining Sugar, Regal Rumor, V V’s Dream and Courbe. Peignoir was fresh from an MSW race win at Ellis Park two weeks back. She finished fourth in her debut race. Raining Sugar made an impressive initial run at Ellis Park, winning a 5 1/2-furlong (1.106-kilometer) MSW event. Regal Rumor bounced back from a second-place finish in her first race with a triumph at the six-furlong MSW event at Ellis on August 26. V V’s Dream checked in second in the Debutante behind Brightwork on July 2. She emerged victorious in May at a five-furlong (1.006-kilometer) MSW race. Courbe won a seven-furlong MSW race on August 18. She bested 10 other entries to make an impression in her debut.

The two races kick off the Road to the 2024 Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. The 18 horses (nine colts and nine fillies) will earn the initial advantage in the series of races as they will gain the first qualifying points for the two races to be held in Churchill Downs. Kentucky Oaks will be held on May 3 while the Kentucky Derby will flag off a day later. The two races are expected to be a boon with experts betting on horseracing see the race as an exciting kickoff for the prestigious events next year.