2015 Pocahontas Stakes Preview
The Road to the 2016 Kentucky Oaks will commence on Saturday, September 12 at the same venue it will end: Churchill Downs. The Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes will be the first race with the winner receiving 10 points, the runner up receiving 4 points, third place receiving 2 points, and the fourth place finisher receiving 1 point.
The Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. A field of 8 was entered for a purse of $200,000. Post time for the Pocahontas is scheduled for 4:18 PM Eastern Time and is carded as race eight on an eleven race program.
The Pocahontas Stakes is also part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In Challenge Series. The winner will be guaranteed a spot in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland in October.
Free past performances for the Pocahontas can be found here under Saturday, September 12 and race 8 at Churchill Downs. You can also check out the Iroquois Stakes preview here. Entries are listed in the table below.
|Post Position||Horse||Jockey||Trainer||Morning Line Odds|
|1||Decked Out||Colby Hernandez||Keith Desormeaux||6-1|
|2||Bold Quality||Paco Lopez||Kelly Breen||8-1|
|3||Dream Dance||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Neil Howard||8-1|
|4||Princess Kennedy||Gallyn Mitchell||Gary Hartlage||12-1|
|5||Dothraki Queen||Corey Lanerie||Kenneth McPeek||9-2|
|6||Vivid Storm||Calvin Borel||William Bradley||15-1|
|7||Just Wicked||Jose Ortiz||Steve Asmussen||1-1|
|8||Put Da Blame On Me||Albin Jimenez||Dale Romans||10-1|
1. Decked Out – She has started four races thus far with he first race being at Santa Anita in May. She won that race by coming off the pace after a slow start and then shipped east to Belmont where she was second in the Astoria. Her last two races were at Saratoga in graded stakes competition in the Grade 3 Schuylerville (finished 3rd) and the Grade 2 Adirondack (finished 4th). This will be her first attempt beyond 6.5 furlongs and she will need to step up to compete in this race.
2. Bold Quality – She has ran once in her career with a smashing maiden victory at Parx by 4 1/2 lengths. She broke on the rail, but ended up with a perfect trip behind a quartet of horses and pulled away in the stretch. She ran a bit greenly in the last furlong, but she has two solid works since that race. She is an interesting horse in this spot.
3. Dream Dance – She started her career at Churchill Downs in June with a fifth place finish after a slow start. She rallied well in that race, but was no match to the top four. She broke better in her second race and was incredibly unlucky to win, losing by a nose. She got the job done in her third start with a stalking trip and three wide move in the stretch to win by a length and a half. This will be her first test around two turns, but she is bred for it by Afleet Alex out of a Vindication mare. She rates a solid look in this group.
4. Princess Kennedy – This filly has made four starts with all four coming in the Pacific Northwest at Emerald Downs. She was wide throughout in her debut finishing fourth in a field of 8 with a mild rally. Her second race saw her battle off two horses in her maiden breaking score by 2 1 /2 lengths. She stepped up into stakes company her next two starts. In the Angie C, she broke awkwardly, then steadied on the turn, and finished with a nice rally, but missed by a nose. She crushed in her latest race by 8 3/4 lengths with a nice trip behind the speed at 6.5 furlongs. This race will be at 8.5 furlongs, but her pedigree and running style suggest she will relish two turns. She is worth a long look as a price in here.
5. Dothraki Queen – She is the only filly to have raced around two turns, but she did it on the grass. He lone start was in July at Ellis Park going a mile on the good turf course. She broke slow and started her move on the far turn before engulfing the leaders in the stretch on her way to a 7 length victory. She does have some dirt influences in her pedigree and a better break will make her a dangerous foe in this race.
6. Vivid Storm – She began her career at 5.5 furlongs at Churchill Downs in the slop. She made a wide bid on the turn and in the stretch, but was no match for the top two finishing third by 8 3/4 lengths. She came back in her second start with a nice rally to win by a length at Ellis Park. She stepped up into an allowance race in her last start, but was unable to do better than third by 6 1/4 lengths with a good trip off the speed. She has the pedigree to relish the longer distance, but she will need to do better to have a legitimate chance to win this race.
7. Just Wicked – She ran 5 furlongs on turf in her debut, but missed by half a length after striking the front in the stretch. She moved to dirt in her second start at Saratoga where she broke on top and then found herself with a good trip behind the leaders. She won up the rail by 1 3/4 lengths while moving on to the Grade 2 Adirondack. She had another good trip off the pace set by Tonasah, but she had to battle down to the wire to finish her off. She won by 1 1/4 lengths and the Pocahontas will be her first start around two turns. She is bred to go long being out of Tapit and a Harlan’s Holiday mare. Just Wicked has faced the stiffest competition and she is a deserving favorite here.
8. Put Da Blame On Me – She began her career at Ellis Park in the same race that Vivid Storm broke her maiden. Put Da Blame On Me prompted the pace, but weakened in the stretch to finish fourth by 5 3/4 lengths. She was sent to Indiana Grand for her second race where she prompted the pace once again, but this time was able to keep going to the wire. She won by 4 3/4 lengths and will now have her first start around two turns. She is out of Blame and a Roman Ruler mare, which means she should like the added ground. However, She will have to step up in here to have a chance to win.
This race is chock full of fillies who are trying something new for the first time. Only #5 Dothraki Queen has been around two turns, but she is also the only filly who has not raced on dirt yet. Some are trying winners for the first time after breaking their maiden as well. #7 Just Wicked is tough to beat, but it is worth a shot with #4 Princess Kennedy and #5 Dothraki Queen.
Top selection – #4 Princess Kennedy
2nd selection – #5 Dothraki Queen
3rd selection – #7 Just Wicked
4th selection – #3 Dream Dance
Check back on Saturday for a recap of the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes.