Cairo Cat became the first winner on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby when he rallied from seventh place at odds of 17-1 to win the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs by a half-length. Not only did the son of Cairo Prince become the first winner of 10 Derby qualifying points, but he also secured a “Win and You’re In” spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
The Kenny McPeek trainee came to Churchill Downs having most recently won a seven-furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga on August 11. The additional distance in this mile and a sixteenth contest was no problem for the $130,000 Fasig-Tipton July 2017 yearling purchase.
After the race Cairo Cat’s rider Brian Hernandez Jr. described how the race unfolded, “He did everything we asked him. We warmed up really good in the post parade. This was my first time I was on him and I thought to myself how smooth he was going. He traveled well the whole way around. He certainly didn’t travel like he was a 2-year-old. It’s easy to put in those type of rides with a horse that has that much confidence to put himself in spots like that.”
Photo of Cairo Cat courtesy of Churchill Downs.