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Cavorting Plays With Field in G1 Ogden Phipps

Stonestreet Stable’s Cavorting scored her first Grade 1 victory of the year, getting the best of a tough group of older fillies and mares in the Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps Saturday at Belmont Park.

The 4-year-old Bernardini filly settled well behind pacesetting longshot Desert Valley, who led the field of seven through an opening quarter-mile in 23.37 seconds and a half in 46.20. Racing six-wide into the stretch, Cavorting made up ground against her rivals and stormed through the stretch to draw off by 2 ½ lengths.

“She broke well and I was able to relax her at the back of the pack,” said winning jockey Florent Geroux, who picked up the mount aboard Cavorting for the first time. “She settled very nicely for me and when I asked her to go down the lane she responded well.”

Exiting an impressive five-length victory in the one-mile, Grade 2 Ruffian last time out, Cavorting finished the one-turn, 1 1/16-mile contest, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier, in 1:40.14 – the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee’s first attempt racing past a mile.

“She didn’t [have a lot left in the stretch,” Geroux continued. “Sometimes she can be a little tricky. She can be aggressive in a race. The question was the distance. She ran seven-eights and the mile, but today was a mile and a sixteenth. It was the first time she went the distance so it was really exciting.

“Her pedigree indicated that she wanted to go further. Being by Bernardini, her third start we tried the Frizette, but it was a funny racetrack that day a little wet,” said McLaughlin, who notched his third victory in the Ogden Phipps, including Wedding Toast’s win in 2015. “The jockey did a great job. One turn is great and we’re real happy to win the Phipps two years in a row. Sorry Dinny isn’t here with us, but it was a great win.”

Cavorting, a $360,000 weanling purchase, tallied the sixth stakes win of her career, which has included scores in the Grade 1 Test and Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga Race Course in 2015. Cavorting improves her record to 7-1-1 from 12 lifetime starts and earnings of more than $1.6 million.

Cavorting was joined in her late rally by Forever Unbridled, who trailed the field early and closed well to finish second, a half-length ahead of Ruffian runner-up and Phipps Stable homebred Carrumba.

The 9-5 favorite Curalina check in fourth, followed by Sheer Drama, Stopchargingmaria and Desert Valley to complete the order of finish.

The Ogden Phipps (G1) Quotes

Kiaran McLaughlin, winning trainer of Cavorting (No. 4): “Her pedigree indicated that she wanted to go further. Being by Bernardini, her third start we tried the Frizette, but it was a funny racetrack that day a little wet. The jockey did a great job. One turn is great and we’re real happy to win the Phipps two years in a row. Sorry Dinny [Phipps] isn’t here with us but it was a great win.”

“I was happy during the race because she was settled. She can get keen, so when she settled I was happy. I just wanted her to wait and go outside. Once that happened I was happy he [jockey Florent Geroux] did a great job.”

“I’ll have to look at where we go next. Probably at Saratoga, something at two turns. We’ll see she’s on a good roll.”

Florent Geroux, winning jockey of Cavorting (No. 4): “She broke well and I was able to relax her at the back of the pack. She settled very nicely for me and when I asked her to go down the lane she responded well.”

“She didn’t [have a lot left in the stretch.] Sometimes she can be a little tricky. She can be aggressive in a race. The question was the distance. She ran seven-eighths and the mile, but today was a mile and a sixteenth. It was the first time she went the distance, so it was really exciting.”

Todd Pletcher, trainer of beaten favorite Curalina (No. 5, fourth place) and second-choice  Stopchargingmaria (No. 2, sixth place): “I was pretty disappointed in the outcome, but it looks like both came back well. We’ll regroup.”

John Velazquez, jockey of Curalina (No. 4): “She ran her best race but today they were going a little too fast on the front end.”

Dallas Stewart, trainer of second-place finisher Forever Unbridled (No. 6): “He [jockey Joel Rosario] said he was having a little bit of traffic trouble but Cavorting ran a great race. I’m not happy we got beat. When it comes to next time, when we go two turns and a mile-and-an-eighth, I think we’ll be good. [Near the wire], I feel like she was just getting ready to come at that filly, but the race was over.”

NYRA

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