09/16/2017 5:08PM

The Tabulator punches BC ticket with Iroquois triumph

Coady Photography
The Tabulator notched his third straight win with the Iroquois victory.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Tabulator stayed unbeaten in three starts while also earning an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup and eligibility points to 2018 Kentucky Derby with a dominating victory Saturday in the 36th running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs.

After racing just behind early leader Smart Remark, The Tabulator spurted clear approaching the quarter pole and was not seriously threatened thereafter when finishing a safe three-quarters of a length ahead of favored Hollywood Star.

Owned by Carolyn Wilson and based in Chicago with Larry Rivelli, The Tabulator is a dark bay colt by Dialed In. He returned $10.40 after finishing in 1:45.50 over a fast track.

“You always have questions about them, but once they run like this, you can start dreaming,” winning jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. said. “He’s still a young horse, but everything they’ve thrown at him, he’s handled well."

The Tabulator was an easy winner of his first two starts, both in July, as he captured his debut over Polytrack at Arlington before taking an ungraded stakes at Prairie Meadows. Rivelli, who was not on hand, dominated the Arlington meet again this year.

The win gets The Tabulator an expenses-paid berth into either Breeders’ Cup race at Del Mar for 2-year-old males: the Nov. 3 Juvenile Turf or Nov. 4 Juvenile. As the first designated prep toward the Kentucky Derby next May, the colt earned the first 10 qualifying points. For good measure, he also earned a free entry into the Nov. 25 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill.

Hollywood Star, one of a trio of 2-year-olds whom trainer Dale Romans is hoping to get to the Breeders’ Cup for the Albaugh Family Stables, closed steadily under Robby Albarado when finishing another 2 1/2 lengths before Ten City in a field of 10 2-year-olds.

“I’m happy with the way he ran, other than us not winning,” Romans said. “He came running and he galloped out well. He showed he likes this racetrack, too. We’ll take it and move on to the next one.”

The $2 exacta (9-2) paid $35.60, the $1 trifecta (9-2-1) returned $42.50, and the 10-cent superfecta (9-2-1-5) was worth $42.97.