All-Star Fillies and Mares Shine in the 2021 Ogden Phipps

Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park: A Sneak Preview of Breeders’ Cup Distaff?

When the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps takes place at Belmont Park this Saturday, it might feel like a glimpse into the future, a sneak preview of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff happening five months down the line. This prestigious race features some of the most talented fillies and mares in the sport, including defending champion Letruska, reigning Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Malathaat, Grade 1 winners Clairiere and Search Results, and the formidable Bonny South.

A Compact Field with Grade 1 Stars

Although this year’s Ogden Phipps field may appear small with just five contenders, it is packed with quality, boasting four Grade 1 winners. This race truly serves as a fitting preview for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup Distaff, especially since the winner earns a coveted spot in the race through the “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series.

Letruska vs. Malathaat: A Clash of Champions

The main attraction in this year’s Ogden Phipps is the exciting duel between Letruska and Malathaat, two exceptional champions with different running styles. Letruska, the reigning champion of the race, arrives at Belmont Park fresh off her Apple Blossom triumph at Oaklawn Park. Letruska is known for her blazing speed and front-running tactics, and her dominance in the racing world is clear with ten graded stakes wins in just 20 months.

Malathaat, on the other hand, claimed the title of Champion 3-Year-Old Filly and is ready to challenge Letruska after a successful return in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare at Keeneland. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Malathaat has demonstrated her prowess against top-class fillies, triumphing over Search Results and Clairiere in the Kentucky Oaks and outclassing Clairiere again in the Grade 1 Alabama at Saratoga.

This year’s Ogden Phipps sets the stage for a thrilling rematch between Letruska and Malathaat, a clash that will surely captivate racing fans.

A Confident Letruska and Her Trainer’s Bold Words

Trainer Fausto Gutierrez holds Letruska in high regard, dismissing any doubts about her abilities. He acknowledges that nothing Letruska accomplishes on the track surprises him, emphasizing her consistent performance as a testament to her undeniable talent. After winning two consecutive Apple Blossoms, Letruska has etched her place in history.

Letruska’s preparation for the Ogden Phipps included an effortless victory in the Grade 3 Royal Delta at Gulfstream, where she demolished a group of overmatched opponents. However, Gutierrez is well aware that the competition in the Ogden Phipps will be much fiercer, and he throws down the gauntlet, expressing readiness to face any challenge that comes their way.

Malathaat’s Path to the Ogden Phipps

Malathaat heads into the Ogden Phipps with a victory already under her belt, courtesy of her triumph in the Grade 3 Doubledogdare. Guided by the skilled John Velazquez, Malathaat showcased an impressive late surge to overcome Bonny South and secure the win. Her previous successes, including victories in the Kentucky Oaks and the Grade 1 Alabama, have established her as a leading force among her fellow 4-year-olds.

Trainer Todd Pletcher holds high expectations for Malathaat and highlights the significance of the one-turn race in influencing tactics. With Letruska expected to set the pace, Pletcher acknowledges the deep field of quality fillies in the Ogden Phipps and eagerly anticipates the thrilling challenge that lies ahead.

Clairiere and Search Results: Formidable Contenders

The Ogden Phipps not only features Letruska and Malathaat but also includes two more Grade 1-winning fillies: Clairiere and Search Results.

Clairiere, trained by Steve Asmussen, enters the race fresh off a strong runner-up finish to Letruska in the Apple Blossom. Asmussen believes that Clairiere has improved since last year and attributes it to her maturity and physical development. Her Grade 1 victory in the Cotillion at Parx Racing showcases her growing potential as she continues to flourish on the racetrack.

Search Results, trained by Chad Brown, won her Grade 1 title at the Acorn at Belmont Park and enters the Ogden Phipps with a recent victory in the Grade 2 Ruffian. Despite struggling with changing leads in her previous races, Brown expresses optimism that Search Results’ training progress indicates a potential breakthrough during the race.

The Competitors and Their Morning Line Odds

Let’s take a look at the talented field set to compete in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park:

  • Letruska with jockey Jose Ortiz and trainer Fausto Gutierrez is the morning line favorite at 6/5.
  • Bonny South ridden by Flavien Prat and trained by Brad Cox comes in at 8/1.
  • Malathaat guided by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher is a strong contender at 5/2.
  • Clairiere partnered with jockey Joel Rosario and trained by Steve Asmussen has morning line odds of 3/1.
  • Search Results with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle and trained by Chad Brown is listed as 9/2 on the morning line.

These accomplished fillies will undoubtedly provide an exhilarating battle in the quest for victory.

Conclusion

The Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park promises to deliver a captivating race, showcasing the talents of champion fillies and formidable contenders. The clash between Letruska and Malathaat sets the stage for a thrilling rivalry, while the presence of Clairiere and Search Results adds further excitement to an already power-packed field.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will the winner of the Ogden Phipps earn a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff?

Yes, the Ogden Phipps is a “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series race, and the winner will secure a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, adding an extra layer of significance to this prestigious event.

2. How many Grade 1 winners are competing in the Ogden Phipps?

The field for this year’s Ogden Phipps includes four Grade 1 winners, highlighting the caliber of competition and the race’s status as a gathering of elite fillies.

3. What running style does Letruska employ in her races?

Letruska is known for her front-running style, relying on her tremendous speed to set the pace and dominate her rivals. Her performances consistently showcase her ability to establish an early lead and maintain it throughout the race.

4. How has Malathaat performed against top-class fillies?

Malathaat has proven her mettle against top-class fillies, emerging victorious in the prestigious Kentucky Oaks and triumphing over Clairiere in the Grade 1 Alabama. Her consistent success against formidable competition solidifies her position as a force to be reckoned with.

5. Who is the trainer of Search Results?

Search Results is trained by Chad Brown, a highly respected and accomplished trainer known for his expertise in developing talented racehorses. Brown’s training methods have consistently produced outstanding results, and he holds high hopes for Search Results’ performance in the Ogden Phipps.

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Doug I. Jones

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