Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has not won the GI Ogden Phipps S. since 1996, the year the legendary Serena's Song (Rahy) got the job done when the race was contested as the Hempstead H. The 87-year-old will hope that streak comes to an end when he saddles 2022 GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Oath (Arrogate) in this year's Phipps, one of nine elite-level races slated to take place during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. The winner earns a spot in the field for the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff this November at Santa Anita.
Very impressive in defeating Clairiere (Curlin) in the GII Azeri S. first off a November layoff this past March, Secret Oath dropped a heartbreaker to that Stonestreet Stables colorbearer in the GI Apple Blossom H. Apr. 15. The chestnut was unlucky yet again when going down by a head to horse for the course Played Hard (Tapit) in the GI La Troienne S. at Churchill Downs May 5.
“[Jockey] Tyler [Gaffalione] was still learning a little bit about her and he made his move a little too quick,” Lukas said. “He made a big move around the turn. We'd like to have both of those back, but we're in pretty good shape going into this race. She's bigger, stronger and doing well.”
Secret Oath ships to Belmont June 6, Lukas said.
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