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Mission Park Wins Pocahontas Stakes

November 2, 1997

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Mission Park charged past pacesetting Rave in the final eighth and quickly drew off to post an authoritative nine-length victory in Sunday’s $113,600 Grade III Pocahontas Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.

Winning for the second time in six starts this year, Mission Park, making her stakes debut with Calvin Borel aboard, covered the mile on the sloppy track in 1:38 2-5 and paid $11.40, $5.20 and $3.60.

Rave, part of the favored entry owned by Overbrook Farm, and ridden by Shane Sellers, returned $4.00 and $3.00. So Generous stalked the pacesetters under Craig Perret to finish another length back in third and paid $3.60.

The Pocahontas victory marked the third triumph in the event for the Willmott Stables of Peter Willmott and trainer Pete Vestal, who won in 1991 with Fretina and 1996 with Water Street. Fretina was the stable’s first stakes winner and is the dam of Mission Park, Willmott’s first homebred stakes winner.

Rave streaked to the early lead and was pressed from the outside by entry-mate Lake Huron as the field sped the quarter in :22 3-5 and the half in :46 1-5. Mission Park settled in fifth, midway back in the field of 10, and began to creep up on the leaders in the turn. As the field straightened away at the top of the stretch, Borel took advantage of an opening along the rail and easily cruised to the final margin.

Mission Park’s victory was worth $70,432 and boosted her career total to $111,417.

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