2023 Pocahontas Stakes & More CD Races Recaps

Four tremendous races helped shape a fantastic card this past Saturday at Churchill Downs with the renewals of the 2023 Pocahontas Stakes, Iroquois Stakes, Locust Grove Stakes and Open Mind Stakes all featuring.

In the Pocahontas Stakes, V’V’s Dream came from off the pace to bag the first graded prize of her career. A convincing winner by six lengths, she looks like a horse destined for big things and firmly put herself in the picture for next year’s Kentucky Oaks.

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One of the most eagerly anticipated races of the day was the Iroquois Stakes, where West Saratoga defied the favorite, Risk It, to win by two lengths.

It took three attempts for West Saratoga to shed his Maiden tag, but clearly boosted by claiming that all important first win, he showed plenty of heart and grit to win this prestigious prize and put himself firmly onto next year’s Kentucky Derby shortlist.

The Open Locust Stakes was one of the most competitive races of the day, and it was the Chad Brown trained Search Results who was able to win for the first time this year. Showing all of her talent and speed, she produced a bold front running display to hold off several classy rivals.

In the Open Mind Stakes, many believed that Wicked Halo would win the race at a canter. However, favorite backers would be left bitterly disappointed, as Yuugiri overcame a woeful start to overhaul long time leader Fire On Time in the shadows of the post.

Pocahontas Stakes

Grade 3, 1 mile, dirt, open to two-year-old fillies. Total prize pool: $300,000

  1. V V’s Dream +250
  2. Youalmosthadme +200
  3. Hot Beach +350

Winning time: 1:36.45

V V’s Dream cemented her class as she produced a classy performance to win the 2023 Pocahontas Stakes. Content to sit at the back of the field through the early stages, jockey Brian Hernandez, was clearly happy to bide his time.

Leading the field was one of the race principles, Hot Beach. Ensuring a fast race was to be had, several runners were clearly feeling the pinch early on.

Despite others struggling around her, V V’s Dream seemed to be relishing the stiff pace. Happy to stalk the leaders, Hernandez and V V’s Dream made their move as they rounded the far turn.

2023 Pocahontas Stakes Race Video

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V V’S Dream wins the 2023 Pocahontas Stakes #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horsetok #Sports #FYP

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Travelling three wide, she showed a beautiful turn of foot to lead the race with just a furlong to run. Quickly in a class of her own, she didn’t relent and ended up winning the race by six lengths.

The nature of her win was certainly impressive and she looks to be a viable contender for next year’s Kentucky Oaks.

2023 Pocahontas Stakes Race Payouts

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1V V’s Dream$4.40$2.92$2.44
2Youalmosthad me $3.62$2.70
3Hot Beach  $2.38

Iroquois Stakes

Grade 3, 1 mile, dirt, open to two-year-old horses. Total prize pool: $300,000

  1. West Saratoga +800
  2. Risk It +200
  3. Liberal Arts +2000

Winning time: 1:37.28

The first clues to next year’ Kentucky Derby were provided in the Iroquois Stakes. With most of the pre-race hype focused on the Steve Asmussen trained Risk It, one horse who was overlooked by many was West Saratoga.

The most experienced horse in the field, it’s clear that West Saratoga has got the hang of racing late and used all of his experience and nous to run out as the deserving winner.

In what was a fascinating contest, Patriot Sprit tried to win the race from off the front but would run out of gas with a furlong left to run.

With several runners quickly closing, it was the duo of Risk It and West Saratoga who burst clear and prepared to duel it out.

2023 Iroquois Stakes Race Video

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West Saratoga wins the 2023 Iroquois Stakes #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horsetok #Sports #FYP

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Whilst Risk It had previously shown some flashes of breathtaking speed, West Saratoga showed tremendous heart, and when the chips were down, it was the outsider who clearly wanted it more. Holding on to win by two lengths, West Saratoga’s victory was one of the upsets of the day.

2023 Iroquois Stakes Race Payouts

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1West Saratoga$26.96$8.24$5.22
2Risk It $3.24$2.88
3Liberal Arts  $5.44

Locust Grove Stakes

Grade 3, 1 mile and a sixteenth, dirt, open to fillies & mares aged three and over. Total prize pool: $400,000

  1. Search Results +300
  2. Hidden Connection +800
  3. Misty Veil +1500

Winning time: 1:42.40

The biggest prize of the day came in this year’s Locust Grove Stakes. Search Results headed into the race as one of the most intriguing runners in the eleven-runner field. Winless since July 2022, she has been highly tried, and has only been beaten by some of America’s most talented fillies.

Clearly keen to get back on the winning trail, she broke out of the gate well and led through the early stages.

Joined at the front by Hidden Connection, the pair quickened up the back straight and managed to round the far turn with a sizable lead.

2023 Locust Grove Stakes Race Video

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Search Results wins the 2023 Locust Grove Stakes #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horsetok #Sports #FYP

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Bagging the inside rail, Search Results was able to take the shortest route possible, and as she hit the home straight was able to kick away from her rival.

With no threat coming from behind, Search Results had clear track out in front of her and sailed to the line to win by three lengths.

2023 Locust Grove Stakes Race Payouts

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1Search Results$5.74$3.30$3.04
2Risk It $7.58$5.30
3Liberal Arts  $10.96

Open Mind Stakes

6 furlongs, dirt, open to fillies & mares aged three and over. Total prize pool: $300,000

  1. Yuugiri +300
  2. Fire On Time +350
  3. Wicked Halo -160

Winning time: 1:09.43

Heading into this year’s Open Mind Stakes, many believed that Wicked Halo was the banker of the day.

With many expecting a procession, they would be in for a rude awakening as Fire On Time burst out of the gate and was clearly going to try and make a race of it.

Burning up the Churchill Downs dirt, Fire On Time had several of her rivals hitting the panic button early.

Travelling up the finishing straight still holding the lead, Wicked Halo was clearly having an off day and simply didn’t have the speed to pick up the long-time leader. With the favorite floundering, Yuugiri set off in hot pursuit.

2023 Open Mind Stakes Race Video

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Yuugiri takes the 2023 Open Mind Stakes #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horsetok #Sports #FYP

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Clawing back the deficit with each and every stride, she finally drew alongside Fire On Time at the sixteenth pole. With her rival having nothing left to give, Yuugiri breezed past and would go onto complete a memorable victory by two lengths.

2023 Open Mind Stakes Race Payouts

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1Yuugiri$8.74$7.26$2.10
2Fire On Time $11.06$2.30
3Wicked Halo  $2.10

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