LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023) – V V’s Dream
, owned by Michael J. Mackin’s MJM Racing, sat just off pacesetters Hot Beach and Youalmosthadme in the early stages of the race before easily running past those foes down the stretch to win Saturday’s 55th running of the $300,000 Pocahontas
(G3) for two-year-old fillies by a widening 8 3/4 lengths over Youalmosthadme at Churchill Downs
V V’s Dream ran one mile in 1:36.45 for jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. and trainer Kenny McPeek. This marked the second straight year that McPeek trained a Mackin-owned runner to win the Pocahontas after doing it in 2022 with Fun and Feisty.
V V’s Dream, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Mitole out of the Tapit mare Quay, banked $183,105 for the win and is the early points-leader on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” after collecting 10 points. The Pocahontas was the first of 32 qualifying races to the Longines Kentucky Oaks
(G1) to be run next May, and points were awarded to the top five finishers on a 10-5-3-2-1 scale.
“She’s still young but has shown a lot of talent already,” said Greg Geier, McPeek’s assistant trainer. “She spent the summer in New York training for this race. It’s been the plan to run here in the Pocahontas and then to the Breeders’ Cup. I don’t see why she wouldn’t improve stretching out in distance after this.”
Breaking from post 3 in the field of six two-year-old fillies, V V’s Dream tugged her way into third after leaving the chute as Hot Beach and a tracking Youalmosthadme dictated the pace through fractions of :22.83, :45.55 and 1:10.24. At the top of the stretch, V V’s Dream was full of run and cut loose with a powerful three-wide move to demolish her rivals.
“She sat in a perfect spot just behind the two pacesetters,” Hernandez said. “She got a little bit of a breather around the turn and really went by them own her own. She’s won impressively in two starts here. I think stretching out around two turns shouldn’t be a problem in the future.”
V V’s Dream (3-2-1-0—$297,605) paid $4.40, $2.92 and $2.44 as the 6-5 betting choice. Youalmosthadme, second under Tyler Gaffalione, returned $3.62 and $2.70 at odds of 2-1. Hot Beach, with Flavien Prat up, was another three-quarters of a length back in third and paid $2.38 to show.
Courbe, Riperton and Regal Rumor completed the order of finish. Empire Island, Peignoir and Raining Sugar were scratched.
The winner was bred by Mark Stansell.