Stonestreet Stable’s Cavorting exploded late to be the 2 1/2-length winner of Saturday’s Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park, defeating a talented group of older fillies and mares. The 4-year-old daughter of Bernardini covered 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:40.14 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, earning her second G1 victory and giving McLaughlin his third Ogden Phipps victory in the past five years.
Florent Geroux was very quiet in the early stages aboard Cavorting, allowing her to break and settle near the rear of the field. Longshot Desert Valley made the early lead, striding out to nearly a two-length advantage through fractions of :23.37 and :46.20. She was tracked by Stopchargingmaria, Curalina and Sheer Drama three-wide across the track in second position, with Carrumba tucked in behind them. Mid-way through the turn, Desert Valley tired and spit the bit just as Forever Unbridled, who broke poorly, moved up the inside rail to be within three lengths of the lead.
Desert Valley dropped back into the lap of Forever Unbridled, blocking her path completely and forcing Joel Rosario to check sharply. Meanwhile, Cavorting had been picking off the leaders one-by-one through the turn, and at the head of the lane she appeared with the lead on the outside. A couple of final reminders from Geroux, and Cavorting was never again challenged on the front end, crossing the wire 2 1/2 lengths in front of the hard-luck, late-charging Forever Unbridled. Carrumba was a half-length back in third, and Curalina finished fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Swettenham Stud, Cavorting was a $ 360,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. She finished fourth in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, then in her 2016 debut off the layoff Cavorting finished second at Aqueduct. Last out, she was the impressive five-length winner of the Gr. 2 Ruffian. Cavorting now holds a record of seven wins from 12 starts, with earnings of over $ 1.7 million.
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