May 18, 2024

Cox taking two shots in Pocahontas with Portrait, British Idiom

Portrait breaks her maiden at Ellis Park under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan on August 25, 2019 (c) Coady Photography/Ellis Park

Brad Cox, who trained Monomoy Girl to victories in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Breeders’ Cup in 2018, will have a pair of long-range prospects for both events in Saturday’s $200,000 Pocahontas (G2) at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile Pocahontas is not only the opening race in the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, but also serves a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge event for the Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita in November. Oaks qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 will be awarded to the top four finishers.

The Cox-trained pair are Portrait, a daughter of Tapizar who graduated by more than 12 lengths at Ellis Park last time with the addition of blinkers, and British Idiom, a Flashback filly who convincingly captured her debut at Saratoga last month by 3 1/2 lengths as a lukewarm 7-2 favorite.

Third in her debut on the turf, Portrait relished the switch in surfaces and will again be piloted by Shaun Bridgmohan. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be in to ride British Idiom, who in that debut defeated Miss Marissa, a five-length maiden winner at Belmont last weekend.

Like Portrait, Morning Gold rebounded from a career-opening loss to break her maiden in fine style at Saratoga. The Kenny McPeek trainee did so by more than five lengths, but the Morning Line filly will be trying the dirt for the first time in the Pocahontas.

Shadilee broke her maiden at first asking for Todd Pletcher, but was claimed for $75,000 out of that 3 1/4-length Saratoga triumph by Mike Maker, who saddles the Declaration of War miss for new owner David Staudacher. Other last-out graduates in the lineup include Lotta Ott, Addilyn, and Blood Curdling.

The field is rounded out by Lazy Daisy and His Glory, who earned minor checks in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Ellis Park Debutante, respectively.

The 2018 Pocahontas was won by eventual Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress.