Jones Duo Set to Invade for G1 Ogden Phipps
By Ashley Herriman | 05/24/2013 05:21 PM ET
Believe You Can
Trainer Larry Jones will saddle an imposing duo in Monday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap, with 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can and 2013 Santa Margarita winner Joyful Victory shipping in from Kentucky to take on four challengers in the 1 1/16-mile race at Belmont Park.
Believe You Can, who kicked off her 4-year-old season with a pair of stakes victories at Fair Grounds Race Course in the Tiffany Lass and New Orleans Ladies, most recently was third after a troubled start in the Grade 2 La Troienne at Churchill Downs.
“It wasn’t [the poor start] that hurt her,” Jones explained. “She can sit right off the lead, but they were going so slowly up front. She needs to be able to use her cruising speed, and she was using as much of her energy going that slowly as she was if she would have been cruising out there.”
Owned by Brereton C. Jones, Believe You Can will have the services of Hall of Famer John Velazquez in Monday’s race as she leaves from post position 6 at 4-1 on the morning line. Rosie Napravnik, who had ridden Believe You Can in her last eight starts, has the call aboard her stablemate, Joyful Victory, in the Phipps.
Second or third in five graded stakes appearances in 2012, Joyful Victory captured the Houston Ladies Classic in January en route to her first Grade 1 score in the March 16 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita Park. Napravnik was aboard the Fox Hill Farm color-bearer for both 2013 victories.
“With Joyful Victory, I know one of them will be on the lead,” said Jones. “A lot will depend on the break and the post positions, both for us and for everyone else. I think I have two of the best riders in the country. They’ll have to do their jobs, and I’ll let them do their jobs.”
Joyful Victory, a 5-year-old daughter of Tapit, drew the rail and was tabbed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite and 120-pound highweight.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has also entered a pair of runners, with Disposablepleasure looking for her first Grade 1 win off a convincing score in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course, and Authenticity exiting a head victory in the La Troienne.
Disposablepleasure wired an optional claimer on March 17 at Gulfstream Park en route to the Sixty Sails after a winless 3-year-old season that included two runner-up finishes from seven graded stakes starts.
“I don’t know if she’s matured, if the break helped her, [or] if she’s just kind of put it all together as a 4-year-old,” Pletcher said. “She ran some quality races at two and three, but hopefully this is a sign that she’s become more consistent. She’s had a couple of good races at Belmont, so we’re hoping Monday she’ll have another one.”
Authenticity has two wins, a second, and a third since returning to the races in January after more than a year on the sidelines. Prior to the La Troienne, the 6-year-old daughter of Quiet American was second in the Grade 3 Rampart, annexed a Gulfstream optional claimer by 17 ½ lengths, and finished third at the same condition to start the year.
“She’s had a really good three weeks since the La Troienne,” said Pletcher. “Grade 1 opportunities don’t present themselves often and she’s doing well, so I think we’re going to go ahead and take a shot.”
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has the call aboard Authenticity, 3-1, from post 3, while Javier Castellano will leave from post 5 on 6-1 Disposablepleasure.
Tiz Miz Sue, beaten a half-length in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 12, and Centring, most recently second to Disposablepleasure at Gulfstream on March 17, complete the field.
The field for the Grade 1, $400,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap: