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Five fillies and mares have entered the 51st running of the $700,000 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1), the first Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event of the season for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff Stakes (G1).
Headlining this year’s running is multiple graded stakes winner Midnight Bisou, who is coming off of a victory in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) last time out at Oaklawn Park. The Steve Asmussen trainee is a perfect 3-for-3 this season, having also picked up wins in the Azeri Stakes (G2) and the Houston Ladies Classic Stakes (G3). Last year, she finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, losing to eventual 3-year-old Filly of the Year Monomoy Girl. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the mount once again.
The winner of the Ogden Phipps Stakes will receive an automatic position in the $2 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff Stakes (G1) this fall at Santa Anita Park. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of California will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
Here is a look at the entire field:
#1 Come Dancing – The up-and-comer will look to extend her win streak after two straight scores in the Distaff Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct and the Ruffian Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park last time out. Those two races seem like the perfect progression for a mare who looks to be improving at the right time.
#2 Midnight Bisou – There aren’t enough good things to say about Midnight Bisou’s 2019 this year. The country’s top older female in training opened the year by winning the Houston Ladies Classic Stakes (G3) before shipping to Oaklawn Park, where she picked up back-to-back victories in the Azeri Stakes (G2) and the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1). She returns to Belmont Park, where she won the Mother Goose Stakes (G2) last season.
#3 Pacific Wind – Trainer Chad Brown will send out this daughter of Curlin after a second-place effort last time out here in the Ruffian Stakes. Pacific Wind has been able to hit the board in several graded stakes events, but she has just one Grade 2 victory under her belt, coming in the 2017 Ruffian Stakes. She finished fourth in the 2018 edition of this race.
#4 Escape Clause – Last time out, she nearly picked up the biggest win of her career, just barely losing to Midnight Bisou in the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. Prior to that, she was an easy winner in the Harry Henson Handicap at Sunland Park, and earlier in the year, she conquered the La Canada Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park. This 5-year-old is blossoming into top form heading into the race.
#5 Mopotism – This mare has been in nearly every big race in the country for females during her 25-race career, including twice finishing fifth in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. This year, she has three races under her belt, including a third in the Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park. Most recently, she was fourth in the La Troienne Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs.
The Ogden Phipps Stakes will be one of 10 stakes races on the loaded Belmont Stakes Day Card. The track will also host two other Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events on the day: the Jaipur Invitational Stakes (Turf Sprint) and the Runhappy Metropolitan Mile (Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile). The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue on June 15 at Churchill Downs with two challenge races: the Stephen Foster (Classic) and the Fleur de Lis (Longines Distaff).
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