Cairo Cat capped off a banner day for his freshman sire Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile), becoming his first graded stakes winner in Churchill Downs's GIII Iroquois S. on a Saturday when the Airdrie stallion was represented by three new maiden winners. In addition to his black-type badge, the dark bay, who was running on Lasix for the first time, secured a spot in the gate for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile beneath the Twin Spires in November.
Bumped around a bit at the break, Cairo Cat settled in a ground-saving sixth as favored Tight Ten loped along through early fractions of :24.03 and :48.74. The 17-1 shot snuck up the fence to sit in a joint third, right off the heels of the pacesetting chalk, on the backstretch. Hounding Tight Ten entering the lane, Cairo Cat switched to the chalk's outside in mid-stretch, and forged clear in the final sixteenth to score. Tight Ten held second and Pole Setter got up for third.
“This is a really nice colt,” said Greg Geier, assistant to trainer Ken McPeek. “Kenny told me after he broke his maiden to try the Iroquois and here we are. He worked really well last week. We'll see how he comes out of things but it's nice the Breeders' Cup Juvenile is right here in our backyard.”
A well-beaten eighth when unveiled in a two-turn turf test at Saratoga July 21, Cairo Cat graduated by a head in a seven-panel off-the-turfer there Aug. 11, a race in which in next-out GIII With Anticipation S. winner Opry (Declaration of War) finished third.
Cairo Cat is the first black-type winner and first graded winner for his freshman sire. His dam La Belle Cat, a half-sister to SW & GSP Palace Pier (Out of Place), did not produce a foal in 2017, but had an Outwork filly Jan. 29 of this year and was bred back to Midnight Storm, who is also a son of Pioneerof the Nile.
Saturday, Churchill Downs
IROQUOIS S.-GIII, $150,000, Churchill Downs, 9-15, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:45.35, ft.
1–CAIRO CAT, 118, c, 2, by Cairo Prince&log=">Cairo Prince
1st Dam: La Belle Cat, by Tale of the Cat
2nd Dam: La Belle Danse, by Beau Genius
3rd Dam: La Kain, by Premiership
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($130,000
Ylg '17 FTKJUL). O-Walking L Thoroughbreds, LLC; B-Clifton
Farm, LLC (KY); T-Kenneth G. McPeek; J-Brian Joseph
Hernandez, Jr. $86,490. Lifetime Record: 3-2-0-0, $133,750.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.2–Tight Ten, 118, c, 2, Tapit–Devils Humor, by Distorted Humor.
O/B-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.
3–Pole Setter, 118, c, 2, Take Charge Indy–Irish Smoke, by
Smoke Glacken. ($15,000 Ylg '17 FTKFEB; $50,000 Ylg '17
EASOCT; $220,000 2yo '18 OBSAPR). O-Steve Landers Racing
LLC; B-SF Bloodstock LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $13,950.Margins: HF, 3 1/4, 1 3/4. Odds: 17.10, 1.10, 7.30.
Also Ran: Tobacco Road, Everfast, Synthesis, Manny Wah, Royal Urn, My Sixth Sense, Hog Creek Hustle, Mr Wrench It, Drunk as a Skunk. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.