Tipsheet Picks: Pocahontas S. on the Road to Kentucky Oaks 150

September 13th, 2023

Nine sophomore fillies will travel the one-turn mile in Saturday’s $300,000 Pocahontas S. (G3) at Churchill Downs. The 2024 Road to the Kentucky Oaks challenge series affair will offer a total of 21 qualifying points (10-5-3-2-1) to the top five finishers in the event.

Pocahontas Stakes Selections

  • #6 V V’s Dream
  • #7 Youalmosthadme
  • #1 Empire Island
  • #8 Courbe

Pocahontas Stakes Wagers

$20 exacta 6 with 1,7

$.50-cent superfecta 6,7 with 1,6,7,8 with 1,6,7,8 with all

Pocahontas Stakes Contenders

#1 EMPIRE ISLAND: Norm Casse trainee was a convincing winner at first asking at Saratoga and got a fine draw on the rail for her route and stakes bow. The homebred daughter of Classic Empire has stamina on the bottom side of her pedigree, and the February foal also displayed the tactical speed during her unveiling that will have her in range throughout in this affair. Ricardo Santana, Jr. retains the mount.

#2 PEIGNOIR: Brisset pupil showed nice improvement second time out when dominating maiden foes over an off surface at Ellis Park most recently. The Mendelssohn bay will have to get faster to challenge for the upset in this field, but she can’t be ignored with Luan Machado coming back to ride.

#3 RIPERTON: The bay daughter of Constitution was a smart debut winner which preceded a solid runner-up showing in the Debutante S. second time out for Paulo Lobo. The homebred ran on well late in her most recent offering and intrigues in her initial route try on this occasion. Christian Torres will guide the top-four contender.

#4 RAINING SUGAR: Riley Mott trainee looked good in taking an off-the-turf dash at Ellis Park on debut and stretches out on Saturday. The $150,000 daughter of Twirling Candy has posted a quartet of nice morning drills leading up to her stakes bow and will be running from off the pace beneath James Graham.

#5 REGAL RUMOR: Dark bay daughter of Kantharos was a powerful graduate in her second lifetime try and is something of a wildcard in the cast. The $125,000 yearling buy sure looked good over a muddy, sealed surface in her latest performance, but she will have to prove that she can handle eight furlongs at this level on Saturday. This April foal will be forwardly placed throughout.

#6 V V’S DREAM: Gray daughter of Mitole has impressed in a pair of career tries to date for conditioner Kenny McPeek. The Kentucky-bred was a fine first-out winner at Churchill Downs prior to running second to the fantastic Brightwork at Ellis Park most recently, and she will improve with the added distance, as well. Regular pilot Brian Hernandez, Jr. will pilot the one to beat.

#7 YOUALMOSTHADME: Speedy Oxbow filly ran mostly evenly after a poor break at Ellis Park in her latest offering, but I expect the filly to be sent straight to the lead in this endeavor. The Kentucky-bred bay from the Brad Cox shedrow is not bred to run long, but she could clear and dictate things from the start on Saturday under the guidance of Tyler Gaffalione.

#8 COURBE: Pletcher pupil graduated at the tricky seven-furlong distance in her unveiling and has obvious potential. The gray Quality Road filly will appreciate the increase in distance against this field, and a forward move will give her a chance late. Rafael Bejarano retains the ride.

#9 HOT BEACH: Omaha Beach youngster has run a pair of good ones to kick off her career, led by a smooth victory in the Debutante S. last time out. The $400,000 yearling purchase seems more than capable of handling the one-mile voyage, although the outside post could hinder her chances if she doesn’t break cleanly from the gate. This March foal is a win threat, nonetheless, with Flavien Prat taking the reins for trainer Brian Lynch.