Erik Johnson, Scott Kaplan and Tom Mansor's Lazy Daisy (7-1) proved best by 1 1/4 lengths in Saturday's Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes at Churchill Downs, after trading blows on the front end throughout the 1 1/16-mile contest with 43-1 longshot His Glory. The 2-year-old Paynter filly, ridden by Abel Cedillo for trainer Doug O'Neill, stopped the clock in 1:44.89 over the fast main track. Lazy Daisy was fourth last out in the Del Mar Debutante, but with this victory earned an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies as well as the first 10 points toward the 2020 Kentucky Oaks.
Lazy Daisy was the first filly with the lead heading into the clubhouse turn, but His Glory maintained her rail position and moved up to take over heading into the backstretch run. The pair were never more than a length apart through early fractions of :23.99 and :47.90, while 6-5 favorite Portrait tracked them from third.
Rounding the far turn, Portrait angled out to make her run at the leaders. Lazy Daisy felt the pressure on her outside and responded to take the lead once again, but entering the head of the lane His Glory battled back on the inside to stake her claim. The long Churchill Downs stretch saw Lazy Daisy come out on top, defeating His Glory by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire. Portrait was a bit green in the stretch and checked in third.
“When I turned in the stretch, I put my filly close (to the inside horse), and she got a little intimidated,” Cedillo said. “And that's where my filly kept going, and going. I got lucky there. Doug (O'Neill) has a lot of good horses, and he knows where to put his horses in a good spot, like a live mount.”
Bred in Kentucky by John Elder and the Paynter Syndicate, Lazy Daisy was a $2,000 short yearling at the Keeneland January sale. The filly later brought $39,000 at the OBS April 2-year-old in training sale, and won at first asking this summer at Del Mar. Fourth in the Debutante, the Pocahontas win improves Lazy Daisy to two wins from three starts for earnings of over $170,000.
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