Iroquois Runner-up Risk It Heads G2 Kentucky Jockey Club

November 18, 2023

Risk It a speedy gate-to-wire winner on debut Aug. 19 at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s well-regarded colt Risk It is set to make his second start on the Road to the Kentucky Derby when he faces seven fellow 2-year-olds that signed on for Saturday’s 97th running of the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II) at Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Jockey Club will award the top five finishers points on a 10-5-3-2-1 scale as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Prep Season. The 1 1/16-mile event is slated as Race 11 of 12 with a post time of 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern).

Saturday’s card is part of the 19th annual Stars of Tomorrow series and features all 2-year-old races. Along with the Kentucky Jockey Club, the stellar program also includes the $400,000 Golden Rod (GII), $225,000 Ed Brown and $225,000 Fern Creek. First post is 1 p.m.

Risk It tested the Road to the Kentucky Derby in his last start where he finished second by 1 ¾ lengths to West Saratoga in the $300,000 Iroquois Stakes (GIII) on Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs. The Steve Asmussen trainee made his debut in mid-August at Saratoga when he won a six-furlong maiden special weight contest by 4 ½ lengths as the 8-5 favorite. In the Iroquois, Risk It finished a neck in front of Liberal Arts who returned to win the Street Sense Stakes on opening day of the Churchill Downs Fall Meet. Risk It will be ridden in the Kentucky Jockey Club by Tyler Gaffalione from post No. 8.

Other top entrants in the Kentucky Jockey Club include the Brad Cox-trained Awesome Road, who won a maiden special weight at Ellis Park by 2 ¾ lengths; Champagne Stakes (GI) third-place finisher Dancing Groom; and undefeated Stretch Ride.

The complete Kentucky Jockey Club field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Awesome Road (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox); Honor Marie (Rafael Bejarano, Whit Beckman); Real Men Violin (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek); Dancing Groom (Javier Castellano, Antonio Sano); Nomos (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher); Stretch Ride (Martin Chuan, Dale Romans); Risk It (Gaffalione, Asmussen); and One Red Cent (Gerardo Corrales, Jon Jazdzewski).

Inaugurated in 2005, Churchill Downs’ Stars of Tomorrow programs have helped launch the careers of numerous graded stakes winners, including more than 50 Grade I winners led by Horse of the Year champions Gun Runner (2017) and Rachel Alexandra (2009); Kentucky Derby winners Super Saver (2010) and Mandaloun (2021); and Longines Kentucky Oaks winners Rachel Alexandra (2009), Believe You Can (2012), Monomoy Girl (2018), Secret Oath (2022) and Pretty Mischievous (2023).

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