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Jun 06, 2014

Ogden Phipps features three of the best


Elmont, NY ( - Three of the best thoroughbreds in training, all 4-year-old fillies, will meet for the first time this year in Saturday's $1 million Ogden Phipps Stakes at Belmont Park on the Belmont Stakes program.

Two-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder, Princess of Sylmar and Close Hatches are half of the six horses entered in the 1 1/16-mile Phipps for older fillies and mares.

The Phipps marks the third time all three fillies will be in the same starting field having met in last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff and Kentucky Oaks.

Beholder, trained by Richard Mandella, is the 7-5 favorite in just her second start of the year. The filly will start from post 5 with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens again riding.

Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Beholder won the Santa Lucia Stakes at Santa Anita on April 20 in her seasonal debut, more than four months after winning the Distaff. The filly is working on a four-race win streak which began after finishing second to Princess of Sylmar in last year's Kentucky Oaks.

Beholder, who won Eclipse Awards as 2012 champion 2-year-old and 2013 champion 3-year-old filly, has won nine of 13 career starts for $3,123,300.

Princess of Sylmar, owned by King of Prussia Stable, is the 9-5 second pick and will be ridden by Javier Castellano from the outside post.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Princess of Sylmar won her 2014 debut effort on April 6 at Aqueduct in the Cat Cay Stakes. Last year, after claiming the Kentucky Oaks, she reeled off wins in the Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama and Beldame, the last versus champion Royal Delta. She finished last in a field of six in the Distaff.

Princess of Sylmar has banked $1,667,220 with nine wins in 12 lifetime starts.

Close Hatches is the 5-2 third choice for Saturday and will leave from the inside post with Joel Rosario in the saddle. The filly is trained by Bill Mott for Juddmonte Farms.

Close Hatches is perfect in two starts this season having claimed the Azeri and Apple Blossom Handicap, both at Oaklawn Park. In 2013, she registered wins in the Gazelle, Mother Goose and Cotillion Stakes with seconds in the Distaff and Acorn Stakes. Close Hatches was seventh in the Kentucky Oaks.

The filly has earned $1,847,300 with seven wins in 10 lifetime starts.

Here is the full field in post position order: Close Hatches, Joel Rosario, 5-2; Antipathy, Irad Ortiz Jr., 30-1; Belle Gallantey, Jose Ortiz, 30-1; Classic Point, Alex Solis, 20-1; Beholder, Gary Stevens, 7-5 and Princess of Sylmar, Javier Castellano, 9-5.

Post time will be approximately 3:14 p.m. ET.

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