LOUISVILLE, KY – ERJ Racing, Great Friends Stable, and Tom Mansor’s Lazy Daisy struck the front early and refused to wilt when challenged in the stretch to win Saturday’s $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
The Pocahontas is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Lazy Daisy receiving an automatic berth in the Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking from post 4 under Abel Cedillo at 7/1 odds, Lazy Daisy led heading into the clubhouse turn while racing a lane off of the rail. His Glory chased from the inside and ended up dueling back and forth with the pacesetter through opening fractions of :23.99, :47.90, and 1:12.47.
Beginning to pull ahead through the far turn, Lazy Daisy emerged onto the top of the stretch with a slim lead, but His Glory fought back gamely on the inside. Lazy Daisy re-engaged and shot back to the front inside the final 1/16 before hitting the wire. The Doug O’Neill trainee finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 1:44.89 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“When I turned in the stretch, I put my filly close (to the inside horse), and she got a little intimidated,” Cedillo said. “And that’s where my filly kept going and going. I got lucky there. Doug has a lot of good horses and he knows where to put his horses in a good spot, like a live mount.”
Despite not finishing the job at the field’s longest odds of 43/1, His Glory was 3 1/2 lengths clear of the 6/5 favorite Portrait, who raced a bit greenly in the stretch before finishing third. Blood Curdling was 9 1/4 lengths further behind in fourth, with the rest of the field similarly spread out behind her. Morning Gold, Lotta Ott, Shadilee, and Addilyn completed the order of finish. British Idiom was scratched.
Lazy Daisy’s win was her second in three career starts, having broken her maiden at Del Mar on August 3 before finishing fourth in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) on August 31. The 2-year-old daughter of Paynter, purchased for $39,000 this past April, has now earned $174,880.
Lazy Daisy returned $16.40 to win, $8.20 to place, and $4 to show. His Glory brought back $30.60 to place and $9.80 to show, while Portrait paid $3 to show.
As part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series, the Pocahontas awarded points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis.