06/10/2008 11:00PM

Ginger Punch heads Phipps lineup


ELMONT, N.Y. - Ginger Punch, who ran a close second in last year's Ogden Phipps Handicap at odds of 7-2, was assigned top weight of 123 pounds by New York Racing Association racing secretary P.J. Campo and figures to be odds-on when the Grade 1, $300,000 Phipps is run for the 40th time on Saturday at Belmont Park.

"She's going to run," said trainer Bobby Frankel, who won back-to-back runnings of the 1 1/16-mile Phipps with Sightseek in 2003-04.

Since falling short to Take D' Tour by a diminishing neck in the Ogden Phipps a year ago, Ginger Punch has won 6 Grade 1 or Grade 2 stakes from 8 starts. She was voted the Eclipse Award-winning older female of 2007.

Expected to oppose Ginger Punch are: Golden Velvet (117), who earned a 105 Beyer winning the Sixty Sails at Hawthorne last out; Mistical Plan (116), last year's Fair Grounds Oaks winner; Moon Catcher (116), a multiple stakes winner of $682,000; and Cowgirls Don't Cry (115), who wired the Shuvee Handicap at 10-1 earlier at the meet.

Unbridled Belle was nominated to the Phipps but is entered in Saturday's Grade 3 Obeah at Delaware Park. Spring Waltz, a stablemate of Ginger Punch and winner of the Grade 2 Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream, is expected to pass on the Phipps in favor of the New York on turf June 21, Frankel said.

First Defence switches surfaces

First Defence, who pressed favored Commentator to midstretch before fading to fifth in the Met Mile on Memorial Day, will switch to turf for Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Jaipur Stakes.

"He's a really nice horse who doesn't want to go a mile on dirt," said his trainer, Frankel. "You can hold a horse together better on the grass."

Second to Hard Spun in the Grade 1 King's Bishop last year, First Defence is out of Honest Lady, who in turn is out of Toussaud, the dam of Grade 1 or Grade 2 turf stakes winners Chester House, Chiselling, and Decarchy.

Also expected for the Jaipur are Emirates to Dubai, Frisco Star, In Summation, Metro Meteor, and Salute the Count.

In Summation's last four wins have come on synthetic tracks, including the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar last year.

Unbridled's Heart tops first twilight card

Friday's program, which is the first of six twilight Fridays at Belmont through July 18, is highlighted by the $75,000 Postponed, an overnight stakes for 3-year-olds carded as race 3.

Unbridled's Heart, a $1 million yearling who was transferred to Godolphin Stable and Saeed bin Suroor after winning his debut with a 101 Beyer last month for Darley Stable and Tom Albertrani, is drawn outside in a field of six.

"Tom breezed him five-eighths [May 23] and we've had him for three weeks or so," said Rick Mettee, who oversees the Godolphin string in New York. "We thought he was good enough to go over to Godolphin."

Mint Lane, second in the Federico Tesio and Peter Pan in his last two starts, breaks from post 2 and should contest the pace with Unbridled's Heart.

Spurrier, who was third last out in the Barbaro Stakes behind Roman Emperor and Belmont Stakes winner Da' Tara, is a stretch-running threat for Todd Pletcher.

Pascal and Admirality come off first-level allowance wins. Trust N Dustan, third in the Grade 2 Remsen last fall, completes the field.