Lazy Daisy franked the form of the California-based two-year-old fillies on Saturday with a victory in the $200,000 Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill Downs, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge prep for the Juvenile Fillies (G1) and the opening race in the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Oaks series.
Breaking sharply under Abel Cedillo, Lazy Daisy led around the first turn before conceding a short advantage to 43-1 chance His Glory for most of the run down the backside. Lazy Daisy re-asserted herself around the far turn to take the lead again, but His Glory stuck close hugging the rail.
His Glory grabbed the lead again in mid-stretch after Lazy Daisy had slightly drifted out turning for home, but the latter fought back inside the final furlong and proved best by 1 1/4 lengths. His Glory was 3 1/2 lengths clear of 13-10 favorite Portrait, with Blood Curdling another 9 1/4 lengths behind in fourth.
“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.”
Owned by ERJ Racing, Great Friends Stable, and Tom Mansor, Lazy Daisy is trained by Doug O’Neill. She paid $16.40 after finishing up 1 1/16 miles on a fast track was $16.40.
Kentucky Oaks qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 were distributed to the top four finishers, with Lazy Daisy now an early leader. The next point-scoring race is the Chandelier (G1) at Santa Anita on September 27.
Winner on debut by a half-length over next-out winner Greg’s Diva going six furlongs at Del Mar on August 3, Lazy Daisy returned in the August 31 Del Mar Debutante (G1). However, she was a non-threatening fourth of eight, beaten 9 1/4 lengths by Bast. She’s now earned $174,880.
By Paynter and out of Romantic Intention, by Suave, Lazy Daisy was bred in Kentucky by John Elder and Paynter Syndicate. She was most recently sold for $39,000 at the OBS April juvenile sale.
In other stakes action Saturday:
*Go Google Yourself seized a clear lead approaching the eighth pole but had to dig deep to fend off a late bid from Moonlit Garden in the $200,000 Locust Grove (G3) for fillies and mares. The four-year-old by Into Mischief did so, scoring by a neck, with even-money chance Mylady Curlin a rallying third.s
Owned by Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Paul McGee, Go Google Yourself paid $9.80 after completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.13 under Brian Hernandez Jr. It was her second consecutive stakes win following a three-length triumph in the $125,000 Groupie Doll at Ellis Park on August 11.
*Divine Queen re-rallied inside Ascot Day in the final furlong and drew off to a 2 3/4-length score in the $125,000 Open Mind for fillies and mares.
The early leader under Calvin Borel, Divine Queen was headed by Ascot Day at the quarter pole, was down by as much as a half-length, but found more late to post her first stakes win since the $100,000 Dogwood at Churchill last September.
Owned by Carl Hurst and trainer Buff Bradley, Divine Queen paid $7.60 after completing six furlongs in 1:09.40.