The early speed of Eric A. Rizer’s Princess Kokachin proved an asset on Saturday, April 29, as she set all the fractions to take the Primonetta Stakes at Laurel Park by a half-length.

The race was originally scheduled for April 22, but was pushed back a week due to Laurel’s track issues. When the race was redrawn, Princess Kokachin received the outside post in the seven-horse field. That didn’t scare away many bettors, as she went off as the 2-1 favorite.

Under Jevian Toledo, Princess Kokachin began well and took control of the race in the opening eighth while receiving pace pressure from her inside from Oxana. As they rounded the far turn, Oxana backed off the pace, and Street Lute moved to engage her stablemate on the front end. However, Princess Kokachin dismissed that challenge and opened up by three lengths in the stretch. Oxana re-rallied up the inside late, but the wire came in time for Princess Kokachin, who covered six furlongs over a good track in 1:11.95.

The victory improved Princess Kokachin’s career record to 11-4-1 from 22 starts, with earnings of $453,420. This is her second career stakes win, having previously won the 2021 Politely Stakes. After missing most of the back half of 2022, she returned to the races with a runner-up finish in allowance company at Laurel on February 4, followed by another runner-up finish 20 days later.

Princess Kokachin was bred by Nancy M. Rizer and Eric A. Rizer and is trained by Jerry Robb. She’s a daughter of Graydar, out of the Speightstown mare Serenity Hill. From four foals of racing age, Serenity Hill has produced three winners from as many starters, including Virginia-bred stakes-placed filly Sparkle Sprinkle, a 4-year-old daughter of Holy Boss racing for the same connections. 

Rizer purchased Serenity Hill, bred by Eugene Melnyk and from the family of Canadian champion Archers Bay, as an unraced 4-year-old at Keeneland’s 2013 January Horses of All Ages sale for $6,500. She started five times for Rizer, recording her best finishes - a second and a first in maiden special weight company - at Charles Town in her first two starts that June, earning $21,520 before retiring as a broodmare.

Serenity Hill produced a Maryland-bred colt by Golden Lad named Say Me True in 2022 and was bred to Engage for 2023. 

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