News and STORIES

Ollie's Candy, Point of Honor Face Off Again In Phipps

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Thursday June 11, 2020
The Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) on Saturday is set to feature two horses from the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), Ollie's Candy and Point of Honor.

In the $600,000 Apple Blossom, the two horses ran impressively but finished behind first at Oaklawn. 

In the April 18 race, Paul and Karen Eggert's Ollie's Candy fought for the early lead against top runners like Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Serengeti Empress. She was able to stay ahead for most of the stretch run, but Ce Ce eventually finished a head in front at the wire. 

"It was quite a dramatic race. She ran super," trainer John Sadler said. "Other than not getting the win, we were thrilled."

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing's Point of Honor was squeezed at the start of that race. She had to come back from 23 lengths back in 14th and last in the 1 1/8-mile stakes, and she was able to get up to third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Ce Ce. 

"Point of Honor ran an unbelievable race to finish third," said Aron Wellman, president and founder of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. "It was a big field that day. She had to weave her way through traffic, go very wide and close on a speed-favoring track. So we were really pleased with the effort. It was another major feather in her cap to add a placing in another major race."

The two runners and their connections will be looking for better results on Saturday in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps. The race will be a one-turn, 1 1/16-mile stakes without spectators at Belmont Park. The winner will be awarded an expenses-paid berth in the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) through the "Win and You're In" program. 

Midnight Bisou and Monomoy Girl 

Ollie's Candy and Point of Honor will not have to worry about going up against Eclipse Award winners Midnight Bisou or Monomoy Girl. 

"We're not too proud to appreciate we have the opportunity to run in a grade 1 race as prestigious as the Phipps and be able to avoid Midnight Bisou and Monomoy Girl," Wellman said. 

"If we can add a grade 1 win to Point of Honor's resume, it will thrust her into a whole different stratosphere for her ultimate residual value (as a broodmare). We'd love to get that now, knowing that in the second half of the year, it will be unavoidable to dodge those two in a major race.

"It's such a stellar cast of older fillies and mares right now," he added. "It's pretty rare in recent years to see so many quality fillies and mares, both on dirt and turf. It's really good for racing."

Leading up to the Phipps

Ollie's Candy is a 5-year-old daughter of Candy Ride and is a grade 1 winner, taking the 2019 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. Sadler wasn't sure about running her in the May 31 Santa Maria Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park and went for New York instead. 

"When we brought her home to California after the Apple Blossom, we were looking at the Santa Maria or the Clement Hirsch. We thought Hirsch was a little far off, and we haven't always gotten her best race at Santa Anita. We know she loves Del Mar, and we want to run in the Hirsch, so before that, with this being her last year of racing, we thought it was worth a chance to go on the road again."

Ollie's Candy is out of the Stroll mare Afternoon Stroll and is coming off four wins and four seconds in 12 starts. Her earnings are at $744,151.

"She's training very, very well," said Sadler. "We got a good mare. Her form is good and solid, and hopefully, we can add this stakes to her resume."

Point of Honor took the 2019 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) and is still looking for her initial grade 1 stakes victory. The daughter of Curlin has come close, though, notably in the Apple Blossom. 

She has three wins and three seconds in eight career starts, and as a 3-year-old, she finished second in both the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and the Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. 

"She's certainly deserving of being a grade 1 winner, and that's our goal with her," Weaver said. "She certainly has a lot of class. She's been in a lot of big dances and been a bridesmaid in the grade 1s so far."

Point of Honor took a break after finishing second in the Alabama at 1 1/4 miles, but she came back on March 7 at Tampa Bay Downs. She moved up from last to finish second in the field of five. 

Ollie's Candy will break from post 5 under Joel Rosario, while Point of Honor landed post 2 under Javier Castellano.