Six Solid Contenders in $1 Million Ogden Phipps Handicap
The Ogden Phipps Handicap is quickly becoming one of the premier races in the sport for older female horses. The Grade I race is contested over a 1 1/16 miles on the dirt and features a $1,000,000 purse. Seven fillies and mares will run for the big prize on Belmont Stakes day, including five Grade I winners. The Ogden Phipps Handicap is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff this fall.
Sheer Drama just beat the 2-1 favorite Stopchargingmaria in a dramatic stretch duel in the seven furlong Grade I Madison at Keeneland April 9. Sheer Drama followed her 2016 debut victory with a third place finish as the even money favorite in another Grade I face; the La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs May 6. She was beaten that day by the second choice Curalina, a Todd Pletcher-trained Curlin filly who took command of the 1 1/16 mile race after stalking the leader and won going away by 7 ½-lengths.
“I thought it was a big return effort and, visually, you could argue that it’s probably her most impressive,” said Pletcher. “She’s trained very well since then and I’m very happy with her.”
Stopchargingmaria was last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner and has made just one start this season losing by a neck to Sheer Drama. She’s won nine of 17 races for trainer Todd Pletcher with just under $3,000,000 in earnings.
Cavorting is one to watch off a 5-length victory in the mile Grade II Ruffian last month at Belmont. The Bernardini filliy has has six wins in 11 starts with over $1.2 million in earnings. She’ll try to win in her first attempt past eight furlongs, but with just one turn and a long backstretch, she has a shot even against stronger.
Carrumba won her season-opening race at Aqueduct going 1 1/8 miles in the Grade III Top Flight, but was five lengths behind winner Cavorting last out in the Ruffian finishing second as the even-money favorite.
Forever Unbridled has won three in a row for trainer Dallas Stewart including the recent Grade I Apple Blossom April 15 at Oaklawn Park. That race was the same distance as today’s race and she kicked clear in the late going to beat two higher-rated horses.
The Odgen Phipps Handicap is Race 5 on June 11 at Belmont Park, and the third leg of the $250,000 guaranteed Pick-3. You can bet all the races online at Twinspires.