Exotics Plays for the 2022 Ogden Phipps Stakes

June 9th, 2022

A small and outstanding field of five fillies and mares will go postward in the $500,000 Ogden Phipps S. (G1) at Belmont Park on Saturday. The includes two Champions, four Grade 1 heroines, and the mare who was runner-up in the affair in 2021.

Defending champ #1 Letruska (6-5) is two-for-two this campaign and seems poised to defend her title in the race for conditioner Fausto Gutierrez. The Super Saver six-year-old is the pace of the race, she has become rateable when on the front end, and the mare is also proven on the surface.

Letruska will face early pressure from just a single contender in the early going on Saturday, so I expect the Kentucky-bred bay to have things her own way for the most part in this tilt. Regular rider Jose Ortiz will be in the silks, and I view the bay as a prime gate-to-wire threat.

I like #4 Clairiere (3-1) for the second spot to complete the exacta. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the classy four-year-old bagged the Cotillion S. (G1) at Parx last campaign and has run well from two outings in 2022, with an allowance romp and a runner-up finish in the Apple Blossom S. (G1) to her credit. The Stonestreet homebred ran a good one when third in the Mother Goose S. (G2) last season in her lone local appearance, and she might possess the quickest acceleration among the deep closers in the group.

As much as I like and respect 2021 Kentucky Oaks (G1) standout #3 Malathaat (5-2), I fear the one-turn trip might not be her ideal distance. The Todd Pletcher pupil is as classy as they come and wouldn’t be a surprise in the field, but she might be worth a play against at 1 1/16 miles over Big Sandy, especially since I expect her to be bet down by post time.

Acorn S. (G1) queen #5 Search Results (9-2) is no slouch in her own right, but chasing Letruska from the start could lead to her undoing inside the final furlong. Brad Cox’s #2 Bonny South (8-1) will be closing from last and faces a tall task in attempting to pass this fine quartet in the stretch.

Ogden Phipps Exotics Wagers

  • $20 exacta: 1 with 4 ($20)
  • $6 trifecta: 1 with 4 with all ($18)
  • $2 superfecta: 1, 4 with 1, 3, 4 with 1, 3, 4 with all ($16)