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Ogden Phipps Preview: Ollie’s Candy Heads East for Elusive Victory
Ollie's Candy after winning the Clement Hirsch (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Ogden Phipps Preview: Ollie’s Candy Heads East for Elusive Victory

ELMONT, NY – Paul and Karen Eggert homebred Ollie’s Candy is heading east from her southern California base to hopefully add an elusive victory to her resume in Saturday’s $300,000 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1), a 1 1/16-mile one-turn dirt race at Belmont Park.

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The 5-year-old Candy Ride mare has done little wrong in her career, earning 4 wins and 10 in-the-money finishes from 12 starts over every possible racing surface. She is the lone entry with prior Breeders’ Cup experience, having finished fourth in last year’s Distaff held at Santa Anita Park. Most recently, she was caught in the final jumps of the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park after leading for much of the race.

The winner of the Ogden Phipps will receive an automatic position in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff (G1) this fall at Keeneland. 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 Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.

Let’s take a look at the full field:

#1 Pink Sands – She takes her first stab at top-level competition after wins in the Rampart Stakes (G3) and the Inside Information Stakes (G2) in her two most recent efforts. The 5-year-old Tapit mare will attempt to give Shug McGaughey his fourth Ogden Phipps title, which would break the current six-way tie and put him in the lead for the most of any trainer.

#2 Point of Honor – After breaking last in the field of 14 and spotting the leaders 23 lengths, she rallied to finish third in the Apple Blossom last time out. With a cleaner start, the 4-year-old Curlin filly should be able to sit closer early on before using every inch of the long Belmont Park stretch to reel in the front-runners. She finished second in her only prior one-turn start.

#3 She’s a Julie – After multiple victories against Grade 3 company, she broke through at the top level in last year’s La Troienne Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) undercard. The 5-year-old Elusive Quality mare’s lone 2020 start to date can be forgiven; she broke in the air when the gates opened and was never able to join the front-runners (her preferred running style) before fading to sixth.

#4 Blamed – She has found the winner’s circle more times (9) than anyone else in the field, including a 1-mile optional claiming event at Oaklawn Park in her most recent appearance. The 5-year-old Blame mare consistently runs the same way each race – get on the early lead and try to hold them all off in the stretch.

#5 Ollie’s Candy – The ever-consistent John Sadler trainee came within a head of her second Grade 1 score when Ce Ce caught her at the wire in the Apple Blossom. She qualified for last year’s Distaff by winning the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar and carries a record of 2 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 4 starts at this distance – though those were all two-turn routes.

#6 Golden Award – She has finished first or second in 9 of her 12 career starts, including 4 of her past 5 while facing graded stakes foes. The 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro mare is by Arch’s Gal Edith, making her a half-sister to the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) champion I’ll Have Another.

The Ogden Phipps serves as race 9 on the Saturday card at Belmont Park. The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue on June 20 at Belmont Park with the Jaipur Stakes (G1) (Turf Sprint). The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.

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