From the Spa: August 3 Midlantic-breds in Saratoga stakes
by Joseph Aiello
“From the Spa” returns to keep you up-to-date on horses bred in the mid-Atlantic racing in Saratoga stakes.
The first race at Saratoga on August 3rd is the Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes, a hurdle race run at two miles and one sixteenth on the turf. Mrs. Phipps, who passed away in 1987, was the wife of Ogden Phipps, mother of “Dinny” Phipps, and a major figure in steeplechase racing who owned two horses in the Racing Hall of Fame. The Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes is for fillies and mares four years old and upward for a purse of $75,000. This year’s race has a field of eight, with half of them being bred in the Mid-Atlantic. Here’s a look at our entries.
First up, on the inside post is Wigwam Baby, a Pennsylvania-bred who is trained and owned by Jonathon E. Sheppard. By Langfuhr – Tepee Tot, by Waquoit, this six year old mare is still looking for her first stakes victory with jockey Darren Nagle, as well as her first win at the Spa. With morning line odds of 8/1, Wigwam Baby is certainly not the favorite in this race, but should still be very competitive. Wigwam baby was bred by William L. Pape and Jonathan E. Sheppard.
Next to Wigwam Baby in the second post position is Swoop, a seven year old Maryland-bred by Louis Quatorze – Admonish, by Caveat. Swoop was bred and is owned by Mary Voss and is trained by Elizabeth Voss. With jockey Bernard Dalton, who guided her to a strong second place finish in the Iris Ann Coggins Memorial Stakes at Fair Hill in May, Swoop figures to be a prime contender in this hurdle race with morning line odds of 5/1.
The longest morning line odds go to Fall Colors, who is 12/1 and entered in the five post. Bred in Virginia by Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Smart, this seven-year-old chestnut mare by Northern Spur (IRE) – Leaves of Autumn, by Expelled has only managed to win two races in her career. Despite the lack of victories, trainer James M. Day has not lost faith and opts for a jockey change to Keri Brion who helped Fall Colors finish second at Fair Hill three months ago. Even with the long odds, owner Bruce Smart has plenty to anticipate in Fall Color’s second career stakes try.
Last, but certainly not least, is another Pennsylvania bred, Amazing Anthem, who already has a win this year in four starts. At six years old, it seems as if she is just currently hitting her stride after switching from the flat to the jumps and breaking her hurdle maiden in May at Malvern. Owned by Welcome Here Farm and bred by Nina H. Gardner, Amazing Anthem, like others in this race, is still searching for her first stakes victory. Looking to help her achieve this career milestone is new jockey Michael Mitchell, who only has 25 career races under his belt — though one of those was a win in the Grade 1 A. P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Handicap a week ago at the Spa. This fresh face may be just what this mare by National Anthem (GB) – Amazing Truth, by Proud Truth needs to take the next step. Amazing Anthem has morning line odds of 8/1 for trainer Elizabeth M. Merryman.