WinStar Farm and Siena Farms’ 2-year-old son of Constitution Major General won a hard-fought stretch drive in Saturday night’s $300,000 Iroquois S. (G3) for his first stakes victory.
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Major General came to the Iroquois off a debut maiden special weight win on Aug. 21 at Saratoga. Assigned post six in the 10-horse field on Saturday, Major General lost some ground while four-wide into the first turn and was sixth entering the backstretch. He made up a bit of ground in the second quarter-mile, then quickly closed in on the leaders going around the final bend.
He swept four-wide again into the stretch to take the lead, and after fighting off a stubbon Stellar Tap, held off Tough to Tame late to win by a neck in 1:44.88 for the 1 1/16-miles on a fast track.
“You’re always confident whenever Todd puts you on a horse,” winning rider Javier Castellano said of the Todd Pletcher trainee. “His team does a great job and this horse is just learning. He seemed to enjoy going two turns and when the other horses got to him in the stretch he started to re-break.”
The dark bay colt is the early points leader on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” earning 10 points on the system that will determine the field for next year’s 148th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1)
The Iroquois also is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In Juvenile Division” Challenge and the win by Major General earned a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at Del Mar on “Future Stars Friday,” Nov. 5.
Major General, perfect in two starts, has earnings that total $232,525. A $420,000 yearling purchase at the 2020 Keeneland September Sale, Major General was bred in Kentucky by Circular Road Breeders and is the first foal out of the Uncle Mo mare No Mo Lemons.
Major General is Constitution's 13th graded stakes horse and 27th overall stakes horse this year. His victory pushed Constitution's progeny earnings over the $7 million mark, second-most for Third-Crop sires of 2021.