Antipathy finds softer spot in G3 Shuvee

December 10, 2019

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After holding her own at 30-1 in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 7 at Belmont Park, Antipathy will take a significant drop in class for the Grade 3, $200,000 Shuvee Handicap for fillies and mares on Sunday at Saratoga Race Course.

Fortunately for Antipathy, she will not have to face the likes of Close Hatches, Princess of Sylmar, and Beholder in the Shuvee, all of whom lined up for the Ogden Phipps, one of the premier races on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Antipathy ran a phenomenal race in the Ogden Phipps, tracking a scorching opening quarter-mile, dropping back after a half, re-rallying to get back into contention after three-quarters and running on determinedly through the lane. When the dust settled, the plucky daughter of A.P. Indy finished a neck behind Close Hatches and Princess of Sylmar.

"She surprised us that day," said McLaughlin, who trains Antipathy for Godolphin Racing. "When we enter, we always hope that we have a chance to win, but in that spot, it was really hopeful that we had a chance to win - at 30-1. We were very happy to be third, just beaten, because it's a Grade 1 placing, but we did try and win and she ran great."

In two starts prior to her breakthrough performance in the Ogden Phipps, Antipathy finished second in an optional claimer to Belle Gallantey, who won the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap after finishing fifth in the Ogden Phipps, and was second in an optional claimer to Natalie Victoria, who will also be contesting the Shuvee.

The 1 1/8-mile distance of the Shuvee will be the farthest Antipathy has gone in her career. "I think the two-turn, 1 1/8 miles [of the Shuvee] will suit her," said McLaughlin. "She was coming back on to finish well [in the Ogden Phipps] and galloped out strong, and being by A.P. Indy, the further the better. She'll probably be on or near the lead and we'll hope she duplicates her [Ogden Phipps] performance."

Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the return call on Antipathy, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, and the pair will break from post 3.

The multiple Grade 1-placed mare Stanwyck will get some needed class relief on Saturday. The 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker, who is trained by John Shirreffs for Jerry and Ann Moss, enters the Shuvee off a pair of third-place finishes in Grade 1 races: the Santa Margarita at Santa Anita Park and the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park. Last year, Stanwyck became a graded stakes winner in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap on October 26 at Belmont.

"She's coming into the race very well," said Shirreffs. "I think two turns and a mile and an eighth is good for her. She runs well almost everywhere - New York, California, Arkansas. I think she's gotten to the place where she repeats her performances."

Stanwyck will break from post 5 with Joel Rosario aboard and sits at 3-1 on the morning line.

Hot Stones, winner of the Grade 3, seven-furlong Bed o' Roses Handicap in her last start, will try to carry her speed around two turns in the Shuvee. Two races ago, the 4-year-old filly finished second in the one-mile Critical Eye, beaten a half-length by La Verdad. Like Antipathy, Hot Stones has never been 1 1/8 miles before.

"She started slow and finished up good [in the Bed o' Roses]," said Bruce Levine, who trains Hot Stones for Roddy Valente. "We just kind of wanted to put some stamina and a little air in her. We know she's fast. The mile and an eighth is a question mark. She came out of [her last race] good. I couldn't be happier. We'll keep our fingers crossed."

Hot Stones will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez from post 6 at 10-1 on the morning line.

Rounding out the field are Swinger's Party, who finished second in the Nancy's Glitter at Calder Race Course in her most recent start; Flashy American, third-place finisher in the Delaware Handicap in her latest outing; Unlimited Budget, who returns to dirt after a failed effort on the grass in the Grade 1 Just a Game; and Ambusher, third-place finisher in the Grade 3 Obeah at Delaware Park in her latest start.

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