Two-year-olds will be in the spotlight on Halloween as Churchill Downs kicks of its Fall Meet and Breeders’ Cup Week on Sunday with an 11-race “Stars of Tomorrow I” card devoted exclusively to juvenile runners.
The 21-day meet will be highlighted by the 27th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 5 and 6. Churchill Downs is hosting the Breeders’ Cup a record seventh time with six Championship races being held on Nov. 5 and eight on Nov. 6 with the marquee race being the $5 million Classic (GI) featuring the undefeated Zenyatta.
Sunday’s card is the first of two Fall Meet racing days that feature only for 2-year-olds. The popular “Stars of Tomorrow” programs are designed to showcase rising stars in the sport who could put their stamp on greatness next spring in the 137th runnings of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the Kentucky Oaks (GI). The second all 2-year-old program, “Stars of Tomorrow II” will be held Saturday, Nov. 27.
Post time for the first race on Sunday’s meet-opening program is 12:40 p.m. (EDT).
The 42nd running of the $150,000 Pocahontas (GII) for fillies and the 29th running of the $100,000 Iroquois (GIII) serve as the centerpieces for Sunday’s card. Both races are one mile on the main track with the Pocahontas going as the 10th race (5:02 p.m.) and the Iroquois as the eighth (4:05 p.m.).
John Oxley’s Dancinginherdreams, a dazzling five-length winner in her debut on Oct. 10 at Keeneland, headlines a field of seven for the Pocahontas. Trained by John Ward, Dancinginherdreams will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and break from post position three.
Chief among her rivals will be Peachtree Stable’s Honey Chile, trained by Wayne Catalano. Fourth in the Arlington-Washington Lassie (GIII), Honey Chile has won two of three starts and was a 6 ½-length allowance winner at Keeneland on Oct. 9 in her most recent start. Michael Baze has the mount Sunday on Honey Chile, who will break from post position seven.
The field for the Pocahontas, which was won last year by Sassy Image, from the rail out is as follows: Missyoulikecrazy (Corey Lanerie, 117 pounds), Days Like This (Robby Albarado, 117), Dancinginherdreams (Leparoux, 117), Gran Lioness (Jamie Theriot, 119), Eden Star (Kent Desormeaux, 117), Switching Gears (Garrett Gomez) and Honey Chile (Base, 119).
The Iroquois, which was won last year by Thiskyhasnolimit, drew a field of eight.
Topping the field is Carolyn and Karen Scisney’s Maybesomaybenot, winner of the Sanford (GII) at Saratoga. Trained by Mike Maker, Maybesomaybenot finished eighth in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (GI) at Keeneland on Oct. 9 in his most recent start.
Robby Albarado will be aboard Maybesomaybenot for the first time on Sunday. Maybesomaybenot will break from post position two and carry high weight of 123 pounds, conceding 2-6 pounds to his rivals.
Second high weight at 121 pounds is Rapputi Stables, Dimitar Pencheff and Carlota Stable’s Ribo Bobo, winner of the Foolish Pleasure at Calder on Sept. 25. Eduardo Nunez has the call on Ribo Bobo, who will break from post position six for trainer Manny Azpurua.
The field for the Iroquois, from the rail out, is as follows: Storm in the Lake (Shaun Bridgmohan, 119 pounds), Maybesomaybenot (Albarado, 123), Conservative Value (Leandro Goncalves, 117), Astrology (Garrett Gomez, 117), Ronin Dax (Calvin Borel, 117), Ribo Bobo (Nunez, 121), War Whoop (Willie Martinez, 117) and Halo’s Thunder (Julien Leparoux, 117).