Stellar Jayne wins Pocahontas; Sweet Jo Jo Euthanized

(from Churchill Downs report)
Stellar Jayne, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, assumed the lead inside the final sixteenth of a mile – following a fatal breakdown by race leader Sweet Jo Jo – to win Saturday's $112,300 Pocahontas for 2-year-old fillies by 2 ½ lengths at Churchill Downs.

Jockey Corey Lanerie, who was aboard Sweet Jo Jo, was conscious following the spill and was taken to Caritas Medical Center in Louisville for further examination. Attending physician Don Belknap reported that Lanerie was alert and only complained of pain in his right knee. Sweet Jo Jo was euthanized by track veterinarians after suffering a condylar fracture of the right front cannon bone. No other horses or riders were involved in the spill.

Winning for the third consecutive time in four starts this season, the daughter of Wild Rush covered the mile in 1:38.97 and paid $6.00, $3.40 and $3.20 as the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine. Turn to Lass, with Jon Court aboard, took the place spot on the inside and paid $6.20 and $5.80. Sister Star, with Brice Blanc up, finished a nose back in third and paid $6.20.

Owned by the Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Chuck Kidder, Nancy Cole and Nick Strong and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Stellar Jayne earned $69,626 to increase her lifetime bankroll to $119,075. The gray/roan filly, a $150,000 yearling purchase, was coming off an allowance victory at Keeneland on Oct. 3.

Storming Way and Turn to Lass battled for the early lead through fractions of :22.97 for the quarter-mile and :46.58 for the half. As the field approached the top of the stretch, Stellar Jayne began to make her way to the front as Sweet Jo Jo moved between horses and took the lead at the eighth pole. Stellar Jayne was rapidly advancing on Sweet Jo Jo when the latter filly suffered the fatal injury.

(Chart, Equibase)