Point of Honor Hunts for First Grade 1 Win
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The $300,000 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on Saturday has a storied history, with names such as Midnight Bisou, Abel Tasman, Songbird, and Ashado gracing the winner’s circle. Point of Honor will try to add her name to that list in the 1 1/16-mile race, but is facing a pair of Grade 1 winners that will try to stop her.
Point of Honor, who will be ridden by Javier Castellano, was always a classy sort, breaking her maiden by six lengths at Gulfstream Park and adding the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs before winning the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan in her fourth start. She ran second in a pair of Grade 1 races at Saratoga before going to the sidelines from August until March. The daughter of Curlin returned to the races March 7, finished second over seven furlongs as a heavy favorite. She improved to run third in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park in April, missing by just over two lengths behind Ce Ce and Ollie’s Candy.
Ollie’s Candy is back for more, seeking her first Grade 1 score since the Clement L Hirsch at Del Mar in July. Since then she has run admirably for trainer John Sadler, finishing third in the Grade 2 Zenyatta, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), third in the Beholder Mile (G1), and second by just a head in the Apple Blossom. The Candy Ride (Arg) daughter will have Joel Rosario aboard again.
She’s a Julie was also a Grade 1 winner last year, taking the La Troienne (G1) on the Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs. She has been placed in three major stakes since then, and ran fourth in the Grade 1 Spinster, but has yet to win in the last year. The Steve Asmussen-trainee was sixth in her 2020 debut at Churchill Downs Mary 23, but broke in the air and missed the start.
Blamed was a dual Grade 3 winner from 2018 through 2019, and is coming off a one-mile allowance score at Oaklawn Park for trainer Bill Mott. John Velazquez will ride the daughter of Blame, who has been graded placed at Keeneland and a stakes winner at Sunland Park, but makes her Belmont debut in this.
Golden Award is Mott’s second starter. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro won the Turnback the Alarm (G3) at Aqueduct last November, then ran second beaten just three-quarters in her 2020 debut at Gulfstream Park. That was in February, she has been off since then, but will be reunited with Aqueduct partner Junior Alvarado.
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