The two major players in this Ogden Phipps are the pair that hit the board in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom. Ollie’s Candy (#5) ran a fantastic race that day as she carved out some very fast fractions from her rail draw and nearly held on to win over the very talented Ce Ce. It was arguably the best performance of this 5-year-old mare’s career, and now she has to prove that she can back it up as she returns about 8 weeks later. Yet it would be unfair to this John Sadler trainee to suggest that she needs to repeat her Apple Blossom to beat this field. She’s been in excellent form for the past year and should be right there as long as her trip works out.
The trip is the major concern for her chief rival Point of Honor (#2). In terms of raw ability, she’s the equal of Ollie’s Candy, yet she often leaves herself with too much ground to make up. That was the case last time in the Apple Blossom when she dropped more than 20 lengths off the pace in the early going. It’s remarkable that she got up for third, but she’s going to have to stay closer to the pace if she’s to be successful this time. I don’t doubt that she can do it, but she’s going to be a similar price to Ollie’s Candy and I have a bit more faith in that one.
You can honestly make a case for every runner in this field, but the horse that I think has the best chance to upset the two favorites is GOLDEN AWARD (#6).
Golden Award was on track to ascend to the Grade 1 level last year when something obviously went amiss in the Personal Ensign. Yet her performances that surround that puzzling non-effort make her a major player here. She was impressive taking the Shuvee over the very good Wow Cat at Saratoga, and then she earned a career-best 118 TimeformUS Speed Figure in the Turnback the Alarm, a number that makes her highly competitive here. Some will be deterred by her loss in the Royal Delta earlier this year, but I believe that she just doesn’t handle a wet track. She’s going to get fast going on Saturday and she figures to workout a great stalking trip from this outside post.
Exacta Key Box: 6 with 1,2,5
Trifecta: 6 with 2,5 with ALL