LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Long-shot Lucky Player held off stablemate Bold Conquest by a neck to win the $115,500 Grade 3 Iroquois Saturday at Churchill Downs and earn the first points toward next year's Kentucky Derby.
Besides claiming 10 points in the first race that determines eligibility for the 141st Derby, Lucky Player clinched an automatic berth in next month's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. The 11-1 choice tracked a slow early pace by favorite Mr. Z and outkicked Bold Conquest in the stretch for his first stakes win.
Lucky Player improved to 2-1-0 in four starts with both wins at Churchill Downs. The victory completed a 1-2 sweep for trainer Steve Asmussen, who earned his third Iroquois triumph.
Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.76 and paid $25, $8.40 and $5.60.
Bold Conquest returned $6 and $4.20, and Hashtag Bourbon paid $3.60 to show.