Ogden Phipps Next Test for Azeri

(from Churchill Downs notes)
Following her sharp work Wednesday, Azeri's next objective is the $300,000 Ogden Phipps (gr. I) at Belmont Park on June 19, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said from Churchill Downs.

The 2002 Horse of the Year was doing well Thursday morning, a day after after she breezed five furlongs at Churchill Downs in 1:00 under jockey C.T. Lang. Azeri's move tied as the best work among 20 at the distance.

Lukas said he was making plans to ship the 6-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter to New York's Belmont Park for the Phipps, which is for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

Azeri is coming off the worst performance in her career, an eighth-place finish against males in the one-mile Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont, but she displayed no negative impact from that effort, Lukas noted.

"It was an excellent work," said Lukas. "I told him to go in a minute and that's what he did."

Azeri has now lost two races in a row. She dropped a narrow decision to Mayo On the Side in Churchill Downs' Humana Distaff (gr. I) in her previous race.