June 13, 2021

Songbird headed to Ogden Phipps Stakes off six-furlong move

Songbird works six furlongs in 1:13.80 with Mike Smith aboard at Santa Anita Park on Thursday, May 25, 2017 (c) Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com

Multiple champion Songbird worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 around 6:30 a.m. (PT) over Santa Anita Park’s fast main track on Thursday with jockey Mike Smith aboard.

Songbird clocked splits of :24, :48.20 and 1:01. The Kentucky-bred miss galloped out seven furlongs in 1:27.

“She looks good, seems happy, and is hitting the ground good,” Smith said. “Everything’s great. She’s fit, and she’s still got another work to go, so that’s even better.”

“She went very well and galloped out well, so we’re very pleased,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “Mike Smith was up and he’s very happy with the way she’s coming along.

“She’s bigger than last year, she’s put on weight, looks good. She’s been training the same, she doesn’t act any different that way. We’re looking to try to have a good campaign with her.”

After the move, Hollendorfer said the dark bay daughter of Medaglia d’Oro would bypass the June 3 Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita and instead make her four-year-old bow on the Belmont Stakes (G1) undercard in the $750,000 Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 10.

“It was a real good work,” Hollendorfer said. “She surely will (go in the Phipps). We think Stellar Wind and Vale Dori (both scheduled to run in the Beholder) are two of the best fillies in the country, and we think there are a lot of good fillies who are going to run in the Phipps, too, but the boss (owner Rick Porter) wanted to run there.”

Songbird is 12-11-1-0 in her career, with her only loss coming by a nose to multiple champion Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) last November 4, which closed out her sophomore campaign. The Ogden Phipps is a “Win & You’re In” qualifier for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Del Mar on November 3.

Hollendorfer also sent out Battle of Midway to work on Thursday at Santa Anita Park. The Smart Strike colt, who was last seen finishing third in the Kentucky Derby (G1), covered five-eighths in 1:01.80.

Battle of Midway was a half-length second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) prior to the Run for the Roses and is now readying for the $100,000 Affirmed Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park on June 24.

Hollendorfer said the sophomore would be in “the Affirmed for sure,” but also mentioned the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 30 as a possible target.