By Neil Monnery

The Pocahontas attracts a 12-filly field for Oaks prep

By Neil Monnery
Churchill Downs hosts the first 2021 Oaks prep race on Thursday
Churchill Downs hosts the first 2021 Oaks prep race on Thursday

The Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks starts with the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs this Thursday. Our racecard is below along with some early thoughts on the race...

Pocahontas Stakes Racecard

6
PP 6

Crazy Beautiful

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: B. Hernandez Jr. /
  • Trainer: K. McPeek /
Morning Line Odds
10
PP 10

Inject

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: J. Leparoux /
  • Trainer: S. Hough /
Morning Line Odds
1
PP 1

Fabricate

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: J. Castellano /
  • Trainer: I. Wilkes /
Morning Line Odds
11
PP 11

Girl Daddy

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: J. Talamo /
  • Trainer: D. Romans /
Morning Line Odds
3
PP 3

American Grace

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: G. Saez /
  • Trainer: J. Jones /
Morning Line Odds
4
PP 4

Dream Quist

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: R. Bejarano /
  • Trainer: K. McPeek /
Morning Line Odds
12
PP 12

Mania

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: A. Beschizza /
  • Trainer: C. Davis /
Morning Line Odds
5
PP 5

Ava's Grace

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: D. Cohen /
  • Trainer: R. Diodoro /
Morning Line Odds
7
PP 7

Blissful Change

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: T. Gaffalione /
  • Trainer: J. Sharp /
Morning Line Odds
9
PP 9

Alexandria

  • Age: 2 /
  • Jockey: G. Corrales /
  • Trainer: T. Hamm /
Morning Line Odds
Show All Runners

On Friday the 2020 Kentucky Oaks will take place and with it comes arguably the most anticipated race of the meet as Gamine and Swiss Skydiver go head on to see who the best three-year-old filly is.

Some 24 hours earlier the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks will begin in earnest as 12 two-year-old fillies take to the track for the one-mile Grade III Pocahontas Stakes. The winner will receive ten points for the Oaks qualifying table but will also come away with an all-expenses paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup and a guaranteed berth for the Juvenile Fillies.

The Morning Line favorite is Crazy Beautiful, who is trained by Kenny McPeek. She impressed last time out in winning the Runhappy Debutante at Ellis Park and her trainer believes she is always yearning for more distance having now won over seven furlongs and a mile in her two starts.

A good run here would certainly push her towards the forefront of the early markets for the 2021 Oaks, which is scheduled to return to its traditional spot at the start of May following the changes this year, which came about because of the Covid-19 pandemic that affected sports around the globe. With the shortened prep season, there'll be less time for horses to come good late for both the Oaks and the Derby.

Another front runner in the betting markets is Inject, who rode five furlongs in her debut at Ellis Park last month and is moving up to a mile on Thursday. Trainer Stanley Hough believes that she could be a good one and decided to throw her into Graded Stakes company a little earlier than anticipated to see how she would react.

Girl Daddy is the daughter of Uncle Mo and trainer Dale Romans is particularly excited about her following her debut run at Ellis Park in July. A comfortable win over six furlongs that day followed by a strong showing in training has prompted him to state that he expects a good run in this one.

Robertino Diodoro has already thrown Ava’s Grace into Graded Stakes company and came away with a third-place finish at the Grade II Adirondack last month. The two-year-old set the pace before succumbing down the stretch, ending up behind Make Mischief and eventual winner Thoughtfully.

This should be a decent race and our in-house handicapper will be here with his thoughts and analysis ahead of the Pocahontas later today...

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