Overlooked at 14-1 after five straight losses, She’s a Julie rediscovered her old spark to edge 2-1 market leaders Point of Honor and Ollie’s Candy in Saturday’s $300,000 Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park. The Steve Asmussen mare just prevailed under a well-timed ride by Ricardo Santana, thereby becoming the first to secure a spot in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland.
She’s a Julie, named in tribute to her Hall of Fame trainer’s wife, had been in career form in the spring of 2019. But since her gutsy win in the La Troienne (G1) on Kentucky Oaks Day, she’d found her tasks harder. She’s a Julie was a creditable third to Elate and Blue Prize in the Fleur de Lis (G2), then appeared to regress. After well-beaten thirds in the Shuvee (G3) and Personal Ensign (G1) (behind her champion stablemate Midnight Bisou and Elate), she concluded the season with a fourth to Blue Prize, Elate, and Dunbar Road in the Spinster (G1).
The Elusive Quality mare was expected to put a better foot forward in her May 23 reappearance in the Shawnee at Churchill Downs. The 2-1 second choice blew the start, however, and never got involved in a remote sixth behind 7-10 Dunbar Road.
While She’s a Julie hinted she might have lost a step, or her enthusiasm, Ollie’s Candy and Point of Honor were coming off strong efforts in defeat in the Apple Blossom (G1). Ollie’s Candy was just denied in a heartbreaker at Oaklawn, and her fans had a similarly sinking feeling by the end of the Phipps.
As Blamed rattled off fractions of :22.84 and :45.98 on the fast track, Ollie’s Candy perched in a waiting second. She’s a Julie, who broke alertly this time, secured a good stalking spot on the inside. Late-running Point of Honor and Pink Sands were unhurried at the back.
Ollie’s Candy launched her bid through 6 furlongs in 1:09.86, took command entering the stretch, and established separation. But Point of Honor was on the move on the outside, and She’s a Julie joined her as a closing tandem. The two erased their deficit with Ollie’s Candy and reached the wire together.
She’s a Julie, racing between horses, forced her nose in front of Point of Honor. Ollie’s Candy was a neck away in third, and far clear of the rest. Blamed trudged home 8 1/4 lengths adrift in fourth. Pink Sands was another 10 lengths back in a nonthreatening display. Golden Award, who chased early, was eased and did not finish.
She’s a Julie completed 1 1/16 miles in a brisk 1:40.27 and paid $31.40 to win. Campaigned by Bradley Thoroughbreds, Tim Cambron, Anna Cambron, Denali Stud, Rigney Racing, and Madaket Stables, the 5-year-old sports a record of 19-7-2-4, $1,187,880. She earned her first stakes laurels as a sophomore in the 2018 Iowa Oaks (G3) and Remington Park Oaks (G3) along with a runner-up finish in the Alabama (G1). She’s a Julie opened 2019 with a score in the Bayakoa (G3) en route to her aforementioned victory in the La Troienne.
Bred by Godolphin in Kentucky, the $160,000 Keeneland September yearling is out of the Dubai Millennium mare Kydd Gloves, who is also the second dam of multiple stakes-winning globetrotter Ambassadorial. Kydd Gloves is a half-sister to Grade 3 vixen Untouched Talent, the dam of millionaire and sire Bodemeister.