It’s Tricky wore down pacesetter Cash for Clunkers in deep stretch Monday afternoon at Belmont Park to win the $400,000 Ogden Phipps (G1).
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. Awesome Maria finished third, halting her streak of six consecutive wins.
“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.”
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 runner is perfect in three starts this season for trainer Kiaran McLauglin.
“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.”
Overall, the 4-year-old Mineshaft filly is 8-3-0 from 12 starts. She returned $6.20 for a $2 win bet and earned $240,000, extending her bankroll to $1,526.500.
As for Awesome Maria, the odds-on race favorite, trainer Todd Pletcher took responsibility for her below par effort.
“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.”
–NYRA Press contributed to this report.
It’s Tricky/NYRA photo