June 25, 2015
Between all of the hype surrounding the TC and all of the major stakes events for the three-year-olds, races like the Grade III Iowa Derby can get lost in the shuffle but for those who might not be Grade I caliber, a $250.000 purse can be a major advancement in building a solid career. On Saturday afternoon, seven talented sophomores will head to PRM to contest 1 1/16 miles on the main track and if past winners are any indication, the 2015 winner will have a great career ahead of him, and one that might even lead to huge success in the breeding shed. Initial winner Pip Boy bested the likes of Bozo Speed and Longest Yard in 2010 and has gone on to sire some top-class winners including Grade I winner Pip Bull, while in 2012, a quartet of titans met with Grade I winner Sector Seven proving all mighty over future Grade I Generals Road, CC Futurity and $1800.000 auction purchase Byaneck and KYD runner-up The Last Danz. As for 2015, we are faced with a field of claims and auction buys who are trying to earn their keep and with many coming off victories, the role of favourite might end up with a colt who is proven against better and might just be hitting his best stride.
1-Lil Old Louie (Three-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Mb Stables)
Lil Old Louie drew the farthest post in the Grade I FL Derby and wound up getting a cheque in fourth but the fact that the sixth place finisher was PRK winner and BEL runner-up A One proves that he knows how to handle the best of the best and for this race, that makes him a solid contender for the win. His score in the Marine at WO earned him a third straight 96-speed rating and more importantly, came from just off the early pace and with an inside track, he might be able to save some valuable ground and that could prove the difference in the final margin.
Analysis-Fits perfectly at this level
2-Fatal Dream (Three-year-old bay colt / Owner-GlueFactory)
Fatal Dream was on the road to the KYD but failed to earn enough points at huge odds in the Southwest, Rebel and AR Derby at OP and off a longshot win at BEL in the Grade II Peter Pan, will try to double up at a reduced price against another tough field. Speed ratings have been increasing and we know that he will love this distance but that last win was as hard fought as possible and still ended in a blanket finish and unless he gets the right set-up, he might be racing for a midpack placing once again.
Analysis-Hopes to get some respect on the board and on the track
3-Roxys Triple Crown (Three-year-old chestnut colt / Owner-Aer Stables)
Well rested and lightly campaigned, Roxys Triple Crown was dynamic in winning the Majestic Light at MTH last time out and with a huge 99-speed rating, rates as a major off-the-pace threat despite the move all the way across the country. However, a series of quick works in succession might have him less than ideal in fitness and he will need to find a way to ration his energy if he hopes to have enough left to make that crucial late run.
Analysis-Needs to time his last kick just right
4-Lincoln (Three-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Serenity Stables)
With only a maiden win to his credit, Lincoln was purchased and quickly gelded by his current owner and since then, has won both of his starts and could be the surprise factor in the Iowa Derby if his last workout at SA is any indication. Clearly faster than anyone else in the field, he will try to harness that energy early and make a case for things late and with breeding on his side, he should be another with improvement ahead and a big future for his new connections.
Analysis-Two sharp wins make him a factor
5-Steel Fox (Three-year-old black colt / Owner-Australia Wide)
Steel Fox was given a solid shot to win the Grade I FL Derby but only came home fourth in an effort that ended his TC hopes; since then, he has racked up three huge wins including a score against older rivals at WO for his new powerful owners and looks to make another leap forward with the return to three-year-old company. $275.000 is not a ton to pay for a solid sophomore in mid-season and there are plenty of chances for him to earn that back, including this spot that seems perfectly suited to his front running ability with little other speed to challenge him in the early stages.
Analysis-Early leader should be dangerous right to the wire
6-Jack The Flipper (Three-year-old gray gelding / Owner-Running Farms)
Former Grade II winner Jack The Flipper tried the first two legs of the TC but was well off the board in both the KYD and the PRK and while he might be able to rebound with a better effort, that still might not be enough to win or even place in the Iowa Derby. Speed ratings have fallen and really never been up to the level of others, coupled with a tough post and little pace to chase and he will be at the mercy of others and that is never a good position to be in.
Analysis-Fallen off form and needs a change in tactic
7-Luckee (Three-year-old bay gelding / Owner-Sanny Village)
A winner of the Grade II Jerome at AQU to start his season, Luckee has been unable to win in three subsequent starts and although he was a close second to a next-out winner with a huge 99-speed rating at PIM, that does not spell winner against this field and he will need to overcome the outside draw to prove best. His longshot odds have made him an under-the-radar type and yet, he has never really fared well against the best of his generation and simply put; others have more upside and if he does win, it will have to be without my backing on this occasion.
Analysis-Probably has too much improving to do
The Grade III Iowa Derby falls into the echelon of mid-level three-year-old races that attract those looking for good purse money and on Saturday, some very solid sophomores will take to PRM including Steel Fox, who warrants the role of favourite off three consecutive wins including one against older rivals. That experience makes him a slight choice over Lincoln, the Sir Barton winner on PRK Day who seems to be heading in the right form direction, and Roxys Triple Crown, who blitzed a field at PIM with a huge speed rating and might be rounding into form if he can handle the added weight.
Win-Steel Fox (3/1)
Show-Roxys Triple Crown (4/1)
Triple T Racing 🙂
Categories: Grade III