Less than 24 hours before the late champion trainer Tom Voss was to be inducted into Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame, wife Mimi Voss and daughter Elizabeth Voss went to Saratoga Race Course’s winner’s circle on Thursday after homebred Swoop swooped to win the $75,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes by three-quarters of a length.
Ridden by Bernie Dalton, who had sustained a tough defeat a day earlier in a Saratoga allowance hurdle, Elizabeth Voss-trained Swoop was well back early, began to move after the last of eight fences, and overtook the bothered pacesetter Sarah Joyce as the field entered the homestretch the final time.
Jonathan Sheppard’s Wigwam Baby made up ground through the stretch to claim second money but never was in position to overtake Swoop, who ran the Mrs. Phipps’ 2 1/16 miles in 3:53.36 on firm turf.
The Fields Stable’s Sarah Joyce, a close 2.90-to-1 second betting choice also trained by Elizabeth Voss, finished third. The Irish-bred was bothered by midrace leader Amnicalola at the next to last fence last after Amnicalola’s jockey, Forest Boyce, lost her irons over that fence.
Jack Doyle kept his composure after the incident, regrouped with Sarah Joyce and led the field through the final turn. Lady Yeats finished fourth, and 2.10-to-1 favorite For Goodness Sakes finished an even fifth.
Mimi Voss-bred Swoop, a seven-year-old Maryland-bred by Louis Quatorze, was winless in her prior starts over fences. She went off at 10.90-to-1 and paid $23.80 to win. Elizabeth Voss took over the training of Tom Voss’ stable after his sudden death in January 2014.
She said that she knew Sarah Joyce would be tested by the long run to the finish line. Jumping is her strong point,” Elizabeth Voss said. “She also had to carry up to 20 pounds more than some of the others in the field, and she’s little, so that probably got her in the end. They’re both nice fillies.”
A day before the Mrs. Phipps, Dalton had finished second aboard Zio Elio, beaten a neck, in a $65,000 allowance hurdle. “I was due for one,” the affable jockey said.
“I thought I had the perfect trip,” he said of his trip aboard Swoop. “She has a lot of speed. It was just a matter of jumping all of the jumps and putting her into gear. It’s always nice to win any race at Saratoga, especially a stakes race.”
Bruce Smart Jr.’s Fall Colors, ridden by Keri Brion, failed to jump the second fence and sustained a fatal neck injury. The field was waved around that obstacle on the second circuit of the inner turf course. Brion sustained minor injuries.