Second choice Wedding Toast led all the way in the $1 million Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 6, drawing off to win by five lengths while favored champion Untapable was second (VIDEO).
Wedding Toast, a 5-year-old Street Sense mare trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for Godolphin Racing, won her second race in a row after taking the May 9 Ruffian Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont. She is the fifth grade I winner for Street Sense, winner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Final time for the 1 1/16-mile test was 1:40.21 on a fast track.
Jockey Jose Lezcano gave Wedding Toast a ground-saving trip along the rail and the dark bay mare clicked off sensible fractions of :23.64 and :46.62, while leading by a length over Princess Violet and Shayjolie.
"Jose made a great decision to go to the lead," McLaughlin said. "I told him we were hoping to be laying third. He said, 'I'll cover up and we'll be laying third.' There didn't look like there was a lot of pace, so he made a great decision when the gates opened... It worked out great. They let her go easy and that was the difference. He deserves a lot of credit."
Untapable, the 123-pound highweight under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, was fifth after breaking a step slow. She made a big move on the outside to get into position heading into the far turn, but Wedding Toast was full of run after getting three-quarters in 1:10.28.
"She didn't get away from there with a clean lead. The other mare did," said Steve Asmussen, trainer of Untapable. "I definitely thought she'd be in a better position early... She wheeled out to go at her, but that filly took off and ran really fast to the wire."
The eventual winner opened up through the stretch, running a 1:34.05 mile while kept to the task with some right-handed urging from Lezcano.
"I thought Princess Violet would go and I'd be sitting second with Untapable in third, but nobody wanted to go," Lezcano said. "My filly went to the lead very easily. She just galloped along, and when I asked her, she gave me the kick I needed to win the race."
Wedding Toast returned $6.30 and $2.80 at odds of 2-1 under an impost of 117, while 3-5 Untapable paid $2.20, getting the bob by a head over 16-1 House Rules. There was no show wagering in the race of six older fillies and mares.
Completing the order of finish were Rosalind, Princess Violet, and Shayjolie.
The Ogden Phipps is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). McLaughlin said no decision has been made as to where Wedding Toast will make her next start.
Bred in Kentucky by Darley out of the Coronado's Quest mare Golden Sheba, Wedding Toast improved her record to 7-2-1 from 11 starts for earnings of $1,179,956. The Ogden Phipps was her first grade I victory.
"She's a very nice filly," McLaughlin said. "My brother Neal and his wife, Trish, up in Saratoga, have done a real good job with her. She's been up there training. She's a nice homebred... (and) it's nice to win for Godolphin. It was a great race."