BELMONT, N.Y. – It’s Tricky wore down pacesetter Cash for Clunkers in deep stretch Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park and went on to a three-quarter-length victory in the $400,000 Ogden Phipps to remain undefeated in 2012 and notch her third career Grade 1 win.
Sent off as the 2-1 second choice in the field of five, It’s Tricky tracked Cash for Clunkers through a quarter-mile in a swift 22.68 seconds and the half in 45.78, with 3-5 favorite Awesome Maria close behind in fourth. Moving up on the turn, It’s Tricky collared Cash for Clunkers at the top of the lane and finally managed to edge clear in the final jumps.
“I put her right there, gave her a shot, and in the stretch she had to make her run,” said winning jockey Eddie Castro. “That’s her.”
“For a filly that hasn’t really been pressed to the wire, she just really ran her eyeballs out,” said Rick Violette, trainer of the runner-up. “I am really, really proud of her.”
Finishing third, 1 ½ lengths back, was Awesome Maria, whose six-race win streak came to an end.
“I thought she ran pretty well,” said Awesome Maria’s trainer, Todd Pletcher. “I think I did a really poor job preparing her for this race. We stayed in Florida too long, got rained on a lot, missed a couple of works down there. Then I tried to make up for it here and breezed her on a sloppy track. I really did a bad job preparing her for this race. It wasn’t her fault. I’ll take the blame for it.”
It’s Tricky completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.73 as she added the Ogden Phipps to her Grade 1 victories in last year’s TVG Acorn at Belmont and TVG Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course. The Godolphin Stable color-bearer is 3-0 this year, having won the Grade 2 Top Flight and the Grade 2 Distaff at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Overall, the 4-year-old Mineshaft filly is 8-3-0 from 12 starts, her only off-the-board performance coming when fourth in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks last spring. She returned $6.20 for a $2 win bet and earned $240,000, extending her bankroll to $1,526.500.
“She’s a special filly, said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “Eddie rode her very well. Rick Violette’s filly was tough, wow! We just did get there. From the three-sixteenths pole to the eighth pole, I was worried – she wasn’t there yet. She ran great. We’re not sure what’s next for her.”
Completing the order of finish behind Awesome Maria were She’s All In and Juanita.