10/28/2012 6:23PM

Churchill Downs: Uncaptured, Sign impressive winners of opening-day co-features for 2-year-olds

Email
Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs
Sign, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, cruises to a four-length victory in the Pocahontas for 2-year-old fillies.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Uncaptured, perfect in four starts on Polytrack in Canada before being upset when a troubled fifth in the Grey Stakes Oct. 7, is apparently just as skilled on dirt as on synthetic tracks.

Cut back to a one-turn mile and racing on dirt for the first time, Uncaptured proved much the best in the Grade 3, $114,800 Iroquois Stakes on Churchill Downs’s opening-day Stars of Tomorrow card for 2-year-olds on Sunday.

Rated in midpack early under Miguel Mena, as Road Agent set a lively half mile in 46.24 seconds, Uncaptured overcame being steadied in traffic on the turn and quickly inhaled the rivals in front of him once angled out for the stretch.

He caught Positively, who swooped from behind to the lead at the head of the stretch, with ease and distanced himself from that rival to win by 5 1/2 lengths.

Overanalyze, the 9-5 favorite, could settle for nothing more than third, beaten eight lengths.

Uncaptured, a son of Lion Heart bred in Ontario and owned by John Oxley, improved his record to  5 wins from 6 starts in defeating an Iroquois field that was stronger than usual, perhaps because of the Breeders’ Cup’s decision to not allow Lasix in its 2-year-old races.

All 10 of the Iroquois starters raced on Lasix.

Mark Casse trains the winner, who raced a mile in 1:37.63, a fast time over a track that produced moderate times on a cloudy, chilly afternoon.

Sign dominates Pocahontas

Two races earlier on the card, Sign scored her second blowout victory in as many starts in taking the Grade 2, $168,150 Pocahontas for 2-year-old fillies, winning by four  lengths over Gal About Town.

Pounded down to 4-5  favoritism off an 11 ¾-length first-out victory at Saratoga on Aug. 26, Sign again showed her immense potential, beating a more seasoned field that included fillies with graded stakes experience.

Not that her inexperience didn’t show. Last away from the gate, Sign was a handful early under Rosie Napravnik when rated in the rear half of the pack as Gal About Town and La Song took turns on the lead with fractions of 23.31 seconds, 47.32,  and 1:13.52 in the mile race.

But once she found daylight on the inside in midstretch after racing in between horses, the race was soon over. Sign ($3.80) quickly surged to the lead and drew off with every stride over Gal About Town, who remained a clear second. The 35-1 shot Cloudy Val ran evenly to be third.

Sign, a homebred by Pulpit owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm and trained by Al Stall Jr., raced a mile in 1:38.63, precisely one second slower than Uncaptured ran in winning the Iroquois for 2-year-old males an hour later.