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Belmont: Some space between Joyful Victory, Believe You Can in Phipps Handicap
ELMONT, N.Y. – Despite there being only six horses in the race, trainer Larry Jones had some trepidation before post positions were drawn for Monday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park.
Running two horses with similar running styles – Grade 1 winners Joyful Victory and Believe You Can – Jones did not want the two front-runners next to each other.
So, Jones was quite pleased when Joyful Victory drew the rail and Believe You Can post 6 in the Phipps.
“As long as we’re scattered out that far, I’m pretty happy with it,” Jones said. “They won’t have to get heads up. One of them can stay out wide enough where they won’t ever get in a match race in the early going.”
Joyful Victory, who has the rail for the sixth time in 18 career starts, likely will be the one to catch in the 1 1/16-mile Phipps under Rosie Napravnik. She is coming off front-running scores in the Houston Ladies Classic in January and the Grade 1 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita in March.
“Nobody has the early speed that Joyful does if she uses that Santa Anita speed,” Jones said. “That puts her out there rolling on the rail.”
Jones wasn’t intending to run Believe You Can, last year’s Kentucky Oaks winner, but following a troubled third in the La Troienne on May 3, owner Brereton Jones expressed a desire to run. When John Velazquez became available to ride, that sealed the deal.
Believe You Can was pinched and bumped at the break of the La Troienne and was further inhibited by the slow pace set by Authenticity.
“She had been on the heels of horses, and Rosie had to crank her back a couple of times pretty hard, and it pretty well took the run out of her,” Larry Jones said. “She’s come out of it so fresh, so we said, ‘What the heck? We’ll just hook up.’ ”
Napravnik, who had ridden Believe You Can in her last eight starts, was already committed to ride Joyful Victory when it was decided that Believe You Can was going to run.
Trainer Todd Pletcher entered both Authenticity and Disposablepleasure, the winner of the Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne last out.
Pletcher said Authenticity, who won the La Troienne on the front end, “bounced out of it well. It’s a Grade 1 opportunity that doesn’t look like it’s going to have a huge field; figured I’d try this.”
Disposablepleasure, Pletcher said, “is in good form. She’s shown she likes the track. She ran well when second in the Mother Goose last year.”
Tiz Miz Sue, a multiple Grade 3 winner, has finished second or third in four Grade 1 attempts, including a runner-up finish in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn last out. If a solid pace develops, she could be dangerous as the best closer in the field.
“She couldn’t be training any better since the Apple Blossom,” trainer Steve Hobby said. “Her last two works at Churchill were great. The whole reason we brought her back was to try and get a Grade 1 with her. My biggest concern: one turn. My jockey assures me we’ll be fine.”
I'll try to beat Joyful Victory here. But at one turn from the rail, it looks she's going to be clear on the lead. I'd love to toss her out of the Pick 4, but I can't.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
- 3.Posted 12/08/2013 06:24PM
- 4.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM