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Pocahontas Stakes Odds: Qualifying Points for the Kentucky Oaks

Written by: Brian Zipse
Published September 14, 2023
11 min read

Pocahontas Stakes Odds and Post Positions

Check out our predictions and odds for the Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs!





R Santana Jr

N Casse




L Machado

R Brisset




C Torres

P Lobo




J Graham

R Mott




M Michel

W Catalano




B J Hernandez Jr

K McPeek




T Gaffalione

B Cox




R Bejarano

T Pletcher




F Prat

B Lynch

Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Pocahontas Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

  • $10 Exacta Part Wheel - Hot Beach over V V’s Dream, Youalmosthadme, and Riperton = $30 
  • $10 Exacta Part Wheel  - V V’s Dream, Youalmosthadme, and Riperton over Hot Beach = $30 
  • If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Hot Beach (7/2)

To ensure your bets, check out our Horse Racing Calculator, here!



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Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs Predictions

The 2024 Kentucky Oaks trail officially begins on Saturday as V V’s Dream, Hot Beach, and Youalmosthadme top a contentious field of nine 2-year-old fillies set for the Grade 3 Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs.

V V’s Dream could go favored off a strong second-place finish to division leader Brightwork in the Debutante Stakes back in early July. 

Before that, the Kenny McPeek-trained daughter of Mitole was a big winner of a Churchill Downs allowance race. 

Hot Beach finished a solid second in her career debut while going 5-furlongs at Ellis Park as the favorite in early July for trainer Brian Lynch. 

The daughter of Omaha Beach then stretched out to 7-furlongs seven weeks later and was a decisive winner of the Ellis Park Debutante in her second career start.

Trainer Brad Cox will send out Youalmosthadme for another shot at Hot Beach after finishing third to her in the Ellis Park Debutante as the heavy favorite.

The daughter of Oxbow rolled to easy victories in her first two career starts, including an early stakes race at Churchill Downs in May.

The Pocahontas will offer qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks on a scale of 10-5-3-2-1 to the top five finishers.

Pocahontas Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

V V’s Dream

This daughter of Mitole has done absolutely nothing wrong in two career starts for trainer Kenny McPeek. In her career debut, which came at Churchill Downs, she came from well back to win a 5-furlong maiden race going away. 

She was beaten in her next start in the Debutante Stakes at Ellis Park but was only a half-length back of Brightwork, who was a star at Saratoga in her next two starts

Her races have been spaced and she looks to have real talent. Distance may be a question, but at a flat mile, she should still be tough. She is a major threat here.

Hot Beach

Trained by Brian Lynch, this Omaha Beach filly made a promising career debut at Ellis Park when she was bumped at the start and chased a fast winner home to be second in a 5-furlong maiden. 

Improving on that performance and given some more ground to run, the well-backed filly stalked and pounced to win the Ellis Park Debutante over a solid field by 2-lengths.  

She is working well at Churchill Downs and has the ability to pass horses. I see no reason to believe that she can’t win another. In a wide-open race, she is the top pick.


This daughter of Oxbow was a bit of an early season sensation, as she easily won both a maiden at Keeneland and then a stakes race at Churchill Downs while sprinting in the spring. 

Given some time after the stakes win, she returned in the Ellis Park Debutante for trainer Brad Cox but was beaten as a big favorite. She got off to a slow start in that one and could never gain enough ground to challenge Hot Beach. 

Back at Churchill Downs and with a better start in this one, she certainly is a candidate to turn the tables. As a daughter of Oxbow, I don’t suspect the distance will be a problem.

Empire Island

Trained by Norm Casse, this Classic Empire filly got the job done with a determined run in her debut race at Saratoga. 

The 3/4-length win going 6 furlongs wasn’t necessarily eye-catching, but demonstrated some toughness. Improvement off that performance certainly puts her in with a shot in the Pocahontas. 

She also has some nice workouts at Churchill Downs. It is a tough spot, but of all the second-time starters, she could be the most dangerous.

Regal Rumor

This daughter of Kantharos has run two solid maiden races at Ellis Park to begin her career. She rallied to be a well-beaten second in her debut behind a strong performance. 

Showing improvement next out for trainer Wayne Catalano, she was close early before powering home to an impressive win. 

This will be a big step up in both class and distance, but she deserves consideration considering the promise she has shown in her first two career races.


After stalking the early pace and taking over to win her debut race, this daughter of Constitution fell farther back in her stakes debut. 

She made up some nice ground in the stretch, however, and rallied to be second in the Ellis Park Debutante to finish ahead of Youalmosthadme in second place. 

With plenty of speed in this one and the added distance, she looks to be an interesting longshot for trainer Paulo Lobo. She will need to show improvement but looks to be on the right track judging from her first two races.


Trained by Todd Pletcher, this grey daughter of Quality Road was a solid winner of her career debut, which came going 7-furlongs at Ellis Park. 

She also overcame some trouble at the start of that one making the initial performance look even better. If she can break better, she could be involved early, but it could be a crowded early pace. 

In good hands, it would not surprise me to see Courbe run a nice race here, but with so many other talented fillies in the race, she is just down the list a bit.

Raining Sugar

A first-out winner for trainer Riley Mott, this Twirling Candy filly won the 5 1/2-furlong maiden race at Ellis Park at odds of 10/1. 

She will likely have attractive odds once again as she moves right up to graded stakes competition and has found a deep and talented field. 

She did absolutely nothing wrong in her debut victory, but this will be a tough test as she moves up in class and distance. I cannot dismiss the unbeaten filly, but it is a difficult spot.


This daughter of Mendelssohn was a well-beaten fourth in her career debut at Ellis Park seven weeks ago but came back next out to win going a flat mile. 

Favored in her second start, she controlled the race from the outset and poured it on down the stretch to win by better than eight lengths, also at Ellis Park. 

The improvement is noted, but came against a pretty weak field and was not run in a particularly fast time. She should find things much tougher here. I like others better on Saturday.



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How to Watch the Pocahontas Stakes

  • What: Pocahontas Stakes (Grade 3) 
  • Location: Churchill Downs
  • Time: Saturday, September 16 at 3:50 pm Eastern Time
  • How to Watch: FanDuel TV
  • Purse: $300,000
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Image for Brian Zipse


Brian Zipse

293 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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