How to bet the Pocahontas Stakes
A dozen juvenile fillies will travel one mile on the Churchill Downs main oval in Thursday’s $200,000 Pocahontas (G3).
#1 FABRICATE -- Upset pick was a winner on debut over the surface before finishing a solid third in the Debutante S. at Ellis Park most recently. Speightster filly lands in a field with a lot of early zip, and she will save ground and close into swift fractions at a square number under Castellano.
#2 SCAT’S CHOICE -- Chapman trainee was a well-beaten fourth in the Sorrento (G2) at Del Mar, and she would need major improvement to have a say in the outcome on Thursday.
#3 AMERICAN GRACE -- Daughter of American Pharoah ran to her odds in a debut tally as the favorite at Ellis Park. Chestnut put in a strong half-mile breeze over the Churchill surface on Saturday, and she presents good value with expected improvement beneath Saez.
#4 DREAM QUIST -- $265,000 daughter of freshman sire Nyquist graduated second time out when going one mile at Ellis Park for McPeek. April foal will need to get quicker, however, to challenge the top candidates in the affair. Rafael Bejarano will be in the silks.
#5 AVA’S GRACE -- Adirondack (G2) third has run a pair of good ones and will go a route of ground for the initial time. Diodoro pupil has the pedigree to handle the distance, although she must get swifter to be a win threat in the latter stages of the affair.
#6 CRAZY BEAUTIFUL -- Debutante S. queen is 2-for-2 for McPeek, proving adept at both turf and dirt racing to this stage of her development. Liam’s Map gray closed well to win going away at 7 furlongs and should thrive with another furlong. Morning-line choice makes a lot of sense against these.
#7 BLISSFUL CHANGE -- Joe Sharp trainee ran off to a daylight tally in an off-the-turf special weight event at Indiana Downs most recently. $25,000 daughter of Treasure Beach takes a big class hike in this spot, but she is not impossible against these with a move in the right direction. Gaffalione has the assignment.
#8 XTREMA -- Exaggerator filly ran an even fourth in the Debutante in her first race against winners last time out. Desormeaux trainee has displayed a nice turn of foot in each of her lifetime showings to date, and she is an exotics contender with a well-timed ride from James Graham.
#9 ALEXANDRIA -- Unbeaten Ohio-bred will face open company in her first true class test in the Pocahontas. Two-time stakes vixen looked the part in a dominant tally in her most recent effort, but she is a tricky read in a big field. Corrales comes along to guide the daughter of Constitution.
#10 INJECT -- $390,000 daughter of Frosted looked worth every penny in a stylish first-out score at Ellis Park for Hough. Well-bred bay is kin to a few serious runners, and the added ground should be well within her scope after closing well on debut. Julien Leparoux stays atop the prime win contender.
#11 GIRL DADDY -- $500,000 daughter of Uncle Mo broke slowly but finished quickly in a fine tally at first asking for Dale Romans. Kentucky-bred gray has posted four solid morning drills in the interim, and the added ground will benefit the April foal as well. Joe Talamo has the assignment.
#12 MANIA -- Maiden draws widest in the field and hopes to register her first win in the graded ranks. Gray was a good second in the Debutante and also adds blinkers, but she will need a lifetime best to take this field down in her first for conditioner Chris Davis.
- $20 WPS: #1 Fabricate ($60)