Bling on the Music seeking validation – and Breeders’ Cup berth – in Pocahontas

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Jen Caldwell

September 14th, 2016

Ten juvenile fillies have been entered in Churchill Downs’ $200,000 Pocahontas Stakes (G2) on Saturday, and the 1 1/16-mile affair kicks off the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points of races leading to the 2017 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

The Pocahontas is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” race awarding the winner an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on November 5 at Santa Anita Park.

Just three in the field boast previous stakes experience, but only Bling on the Music actually owns a win against stakes rivals.

The J.R. Caldwell trainee is undefeated from three lifetime starts won by a combined 26 1/4 lengths. She broke her maiden by 4 3/4 lengths at Lone Star Park on May 19 and returned July 9 at that same track to take the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity (Fillies) by 8 1/2 lengths.

Bling on the Music then showed up at Arapahoe Park for the Gold Rush Futurity and romped by 13 lengths.

While some may dismiss these wins since they took place at smaller tracks, they can’t dismiss Too Much Bling filly’s 97 BRIS Speed rating earned in that latter event.

The gray filly will get the chance to prove herself Saturday with Luis Quinonez returning to the saddle.

Bling on the Music’s 97 BRIS Speed figure is highest by far in this field. Only Someday Soon comes close with a 91 number earned for her runner-up effort in the Tah Dah Stakes last out on August 27 at Belterra Park. That Proud Citizen lass entered the Tah Dah Stakes off a rallying fifth in the Miss Ohio Stakes at Thistledown on July 23, which followed an 8 1/2-length debut score at Belterra on Independence Day.

Luis Saez has the call on Someday Soon for trainer William Van Meter.

Ever So Clever is the only other filly in the Pocahontas with prior stakes experience. The Steve Asmussen pupil broke her maiden at Churchill Downs on July 1 but faded to a well-beaten fifth in the Adirondack Stakes (G2) next out at Saratoga. The Medaglia d’Oro miss will attempt to rebound in this spot under Ricardo Santana Jr.

“I think that Ever So Clever is a very top class filly,” Asmussen said. “Obviously with us going in the Pocahontas, we have the comfort of knowing that she likes the racetrack. We expect for her to make a good performance on Saturday.

“It didn’t work out,” the conditioner added about the Adirondack. “I’ve learned to not overreact to a good or a bad race at Saratoga. We obviously expected better but hopefully we can back on track on Saturday and I think she’s been waiting for the opportunity to run around two turns.”

Sully’s Dream could jump up in a big way after taking her maiden debut at Ellis Park by 12 lengths in a one-mile, off-the-turf contest for trainer Kellyn Gorder. The Colonel John filly gets Robby Albarado holding the reins for this stakes bow.

Dream Dancing, I’mluckysgirl, Jet Away Sue and Daddys Lil Darling all broke their maidens in their second career tries. Daddys Lil Darling will be getting first-time Lasix in the Pocahontas. One Thirty One took three tries to earn her first victory but followed up with an allowance/optional claiming score at Presque Isle Downs just 21 days later.

Jordan’s Henny is still a maiden following two career starts.

Bling on the Music photo courtesy of Arapahoe Park/Coady Photography