06/10/2010 11:00PM

Phipps has two up-and-comers


ELMONT, N.Y. − Saturday's Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park may not possess the star power of the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis at Churchill Downs or Sunday's Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park, but it is a much more competitive race.

And who knows? By year's end, people may be talking about Unrivaled Belle or Life at Ten as potential threats for divisional honors to Zenyatta, who runs in the Vanity, and Rachel Alexandra, who runs in the Fleur de Lis.

Unrivaled Belle defeated Rachel Alexandra in the La Troienne, and Life at Ten has won her last four starts. They will take on Grade 1 winner Funny Moon and two others in the Phipps, the feature of Saturday's 10-race card. With only five runners, the Phipps is carded as race 4 (2:36 p.m. Eastern).

Unrivaled Belle, a daughter of Unbridled's Song, is 5 for 6 on dirt and has won both of her starts at Belmont Park. In two dirt starts this year, she won the Grade 3 Rampart at Gulfstream and then won a stretch-long battle with reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra to take the La Troienne by a head at Churchill.

"The last quarter-mile, they were eyeball to eyeball," Mott said of the La Troienne stretch drive. "We had gone by her, then nearing the eighth pole Rachel took the lead away from us. All of a sudden our mare surged the last 40 yards. It was an unbelievable effort."

Mott said Unrivaled Belle has done well since the La Troienne and said he thought her five-furlong work May 30 was on par with the work Drosselmeyer put in that morning in preparation for his upset victory in last Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

Kent Desormeaux rides Unrivaled Belle from post 3.

Distance and dirt are the two primary reasons trainer Todd Pletcher said Life at Ten has become a graded stakes-winning mare. She is 4 for 6 on dirt and has won four straight races dating back to Nov. 15, including the Grade 3 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne last out.

"The horse is doing well," Pletcher said. "Figure it was time to step up into the big leagues and see what we have."

Funny Moon is 4 for 5 at Belmont, including wins in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks last year and a 2 3/4-length victory in the Shuvee last month.

Pumpkin Shell and Manitoba Miss complete the field.