Ever a Derby Winner With Better Credentials Than Nyquist?Read this article
Fillies Try Two Turns in Grade 2 $200,000 Pocahontas
Eight juvenile fillies are lined up to contest the 47th running of the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes Saturday, September 12 at Churchill Downs with all but one of the starters attempting two turns for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile event on the main track.
Even-money favorite Just Wicked is among the untested route runners, but won the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at six and a half furlongs August 15 at Saratoga. The Steven Asmussen-trained daughter of Tapit has won 2 of 3 career starts with the lone blemish a half length setback in her debut while racing over turf. Prior to breaking through with a stakes win in the Adirondack, Just Wicked broke her maiden impressively against nine maiden special weight rivals July 24 at Saratoga. Asmusssen connects at a 17% clip with runners going sprint to route.
McPeek runner has lone two-turn experience
Dothraki Queen (9/2) is a distant second choice on the morning line, but does have the lone two-turn experience in the field after breaking her maiden by seven lengths July 12 at Ellis Park going a mile. That effort, however, came on the turf. Trainer Kenny McPeek adds Lasix and changes pilots with Corey Lanerie taking over for Robbie Albarado.
Longer is better for Dream Dance
Dream Dance (8/1) gives the impression of a runner reaching out for more distance and enters the Pocahontas off a pair of late-running sprint efforts at Ellis Park. The daughter of 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex should be moving well late for trainer Neil Howard.
For all the negative buzz about Nyquist's average speed figures and vulnerability, the newly crowned and much-deserving 2016 Kentucky Derby winner might just have the most impeccable credentials of any Derby winner in the illustrious history of the race - and certainly in the modern era.
On Friday at Churchill Downs, the field has been set for the 142nd running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks. The Grade 1 event, carded at a mile and an eighth, has drawn a full field of fourteen three-year-old fillies with one listed as an also-eligible.
With the final round of Kentucky Derby preps in the books, it seems improbable, but arguable that the March 12 Tampa Derby was the most useful and review-worthy of the 24 official point-bearing races in 2016.