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Dr. Miranda previews the 2023 Pocahontas Stakes (G3) from Churchill Downs, then gives her top picks & long shots from this 2024 Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep race.
The Brad Cox-trained Youalmosthadme aims at winning her 2nd career stakes while looking to rebound from her 1st defeat last time out. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
In Saturday’s 55th running of the Pocahontas, an ultra-competitive group of nine two-year-old fillies is entered including Boarshorts Stables’ Ellis Park Debutante heroine Hot Beach and Qatar Racing, Swinbank Stables, Steve Adkisson and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Kentucky Juvenile winner Youalmosthadme.
Run at a mile, the Pocahontas Stakes is the first race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks and will award qualifying points to the top five finishers on a 10-5-3-2-1 scale toward the 150th running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on Friday, May 3, 2024.
The Pocahontas Stakes will go as Race 7 of 11 with a post time of 3:50 p.m.
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Hot Beach broke her maiden by two lengths in the Ellis Park Debutante under jockey Declan Cannon. The Brian Lynch-trained daughter of Omaha Beach defeated fellow Pocahontas rivals Riperton and Youalmosthadme one month ago in the seven-furlong race. Jockey Flavien Prat will pick up the mount on Hot Beach in the Pocahontas from post No. 9.
Chief among Hot Beach’s rivals in the Pocahontas is Youalmosthadme, who returns to Churchill Downs where she demolished her rivals in the Kentucky Juvenile by 8 3/4 lengths. Trained by Brad Cox, Youalmosthadme stumbled badly at the start of the Ellis Park Debutante but recovered to finish third as the heavy 4-5 favorite. Gaffalione, who was in the saddle for the Kentucky Juvenile, will have the call in the Pocahontas from post 7.
Another intriguing filly that entered the Pocahontas is MJM Racing’s V V’s Dream, who finished second to future Grade 1 winner Brightwork in the Debutante at Ellis Park. Trained by Kenny McPeek, V V’s Dream has been on the sidelines since her runner-up effort 10 weeks ago. Prior to the Debutante Stakes, V V’s Dream convincingly won her debut at Churchill Downs by 6 1/4 lengths. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will be aboard from post 6.
McPeek is not a stranger to winning the Pocahontas. The veteran conditioner previously won the race with Fun and Feisty (2022), Daddys Lil Darling (2016) and Dothraki Queen (2015).
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The Pocahontas Stakes is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Dirt Dozen” series where the top three finishers will be awarded partial entry fees toward the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on Nov. 3.
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