It is not the highest profile race of the weekend but it may offer one of the best chances to cash a ticket on someone other than the favorite. I happen to think that Curlin, Dreaming of Anna and Hystericalady are all pretty solid favorites. Law of averages suggest that one of them might lose but I can't make a case against any of them. I can, however, see a way to beat Pure Clan. Pure Clan is a pretty high profile horse and is also undefeated on the grass but she is not unbeatable. On the contrary she has actually been quite beatable since turning three. She has been facing very good horses but these challengers today are no slouches. A horse I really like is CJ's Leelee, aside from her races on Polytrack she's been a very good horse especially on the grass. Her facile victory over Churchill's sod was her best race as a 2yo. She showed that she still has some run in her debut this year. I don't think going to the front was the very best move tactically and she is more likely to be rated in this race. It was the perfect type of race to build off of. I know she lost to Pure Clan in their only meeting but that was on the dirt, I think the change of surface and passage of time will make her the superior horse. At least for a day. You also have to respect Zee Zee. The only horse to beat her on the grass was Nownownow who was recognized as the best Turf 2yo. No female has ever beaten her on the grass and she was the easiest money of the Derby weekend. The horse she beat came back to win next out and she recently drilled her first bullet since March. She's ready to go and is the horse to beat. I still think CJ's Leelee can pull off the mild upset but I'd use both.
C J's Leelee
Ogden Phipps Handicap
Keep a close eye on the scratches. The Stronach entry is formidable but I think one half of the entry is unbeatable and the other is vulnerable. Strangely it's not champion Ginger Punch that I see as invincible, it's her fill in Spring Waltz. Ginger Punch will run as long as Frankel is satisfied that her foot is in good shape and no other issues come up. But she has some vulnerability. Spring Waltz on the other hand has been immense this year and would overwhelm this group with some ease. Ginger Punch is still a solid contender but with the question marks over her fitness are a cause for concern. Her form is also of some concern. She has received much lower figures for her last two performances and it could be a sign that she is not what she was. Admittedly Ginger Punch is a horse I've never actually had a ton of faith in. I think that although she was a champion she was well below the standard of past champs like Azeri, Sightseek and Ashado. If someone steps up they can go with her. The horse I'm looking to step up is Golden Velvet. She was involved in a controversy when it was found that she had been sponged in the Sabin Handicap. She still managed to dead heat for the win that day. Spring Waltz crushed her at Gulfstream but then she took a big step forward in the Sixty Sails. Her barn mate should be setting a decent pace and Golden Velvet ought to be tracking Ginger Punch all the way around. I think she can get it done and confirm herself as a genuine contender in this division. So the wager is for Golden Velvet as long as Ginger Punch stays in.