Category: Horse Racing

United Nations Stakes Quick Picks

The $500,000 United Nations Stakes (G1) on Saturday’s Haskell undercard drew a full field of ten older turf routers who will navigate 1 3/8-miles. Although the United Nations isn’t a Breeders’ Cup Challenge contest, we may see some of these horses compete in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Del Mar.
Three-time United Nations winner Chad Brown brings a trio to Monmouth. Other notable trainers include Todd Pletcher, last year’s winner Mike Maker, and Brad Cox, who is hoping for his first United Nations Stakes victory.
The favorites bookend the field.
The $500,000 United Nations Stakes (G1) on Saturday’s Haskell undercard drew a full field of ten older turf routers who will navigate 1 3/8-miles.
ARKLOW (8-5), at seven years old, is the old man of the group, but he hasn’t lost a step and is hoping to avenge his fourth-place finish in last year’s United Nations. The Brad Cox trainee started 2021 with a one-length victory in the 1 1/2-mile Louisville Stakes (G3) as the favorite. He rarely puts together back-to-back victories, but the classy old guy is the only Grade 1 winner in the field. Win contender.
TRIBHUVAN (3-1) was dismissed at 15-1 in the 1 1/4-mile Manhattan Stakes (G1), despite winning the 1 1/8-mile Fort Marcy (G2) in his first start of the year. Tribhuvan looked like he was going to take Manhattan in the stretch, but his stablemate Domestic Spending spoiled the bid and won by 2 3/4-lengths. However, the United Nations is a little shorter, and the Chad Brown trainee could rebound. Although Tribhuvan has been on the lead in his past two starts, he has tactical speed and is capable of sitting behind the pace. Win contender.
WINTERS BACK (8-1) is the likely pacesetter if Tribhuvan doesn’t grab the lead. The Todd Pletcher trainee was second by 1 1/2-lengths in the Monmouth Cup (G3) in June. Winters Back is going a little further this time, but if jockey David Cohen can slow the pace, Winters Back could surprise, or at least finish in the money. Use underneath.
MASTER PIECE (4-1) ran evenly in the Manhattan Stakes and placed sixth after a wide trip. He was farther back than usual, which might have been a factor. Chad Brown is hoping to regroup and gives the mount back to Joel Rosario, who was aboard for the colt’s allowance victory at Keeneland. I’m not 100% sure Master Piece fits class-wise; however, he is a Group 2 winner in Chile. Use underneath.
SERVE THE KING (8-1) shook off the rust in his 2021 debut in the Monmouth Stakes (G3) over good ground. He made a mild bid to gain fourth place, but this guy prefers a firmer course. Although he’s a 5-year-old, Serve the King has raced only seven times and has never been worse than fourth. He’s taking a step up in class and adding distance, but the Brad Cox trainee won over this course before with jockey Paco Lopez. Use underneath.
GLYNN COUNTY (20-1) jumps up in class, but he’s won two of […]

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July 4th Holiday Racing: Suburban Stakes Quick Picks

The holiday weekend stakes action on Saturday at Belmont Park is highlighted by the Grade 2, $400,000 Suburban Stakes. The 1 1/4-mile contest for older horses is a Win-and-you’re-in Challenge event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Weekend Carryovers (July 2nd, 2021)

July 4th Holiday Racing Preview
Carded as Race 10, the Suburban attracted six horses lead by the morning-line even-money favorite, Mystic Guide. After hitting the board in last year’s Peter Pan Stakes, trainer Michael Stidham added blinker’s to Mystic Guide’s equipment and was rewarded with noticeable improvement. The colt won the Jim Dandy (G2) and placed second by ¾ of a length in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) to close out the year.
Mystic Guide returned this year with a powerful six-length score in the Razorback Handicap (G3). He then bested the best dirt horses in the world by 3¾ lengths in the Dubai World Cup (G1).
The main chinks Mystic Guide’s armor are twofold; he’s finished second in both tries at Belmont Park. The other issue is a possibility that he’ll fall victim to the “Dubai-bounce.” Unfortunately, horses sometimes need time to regain their best form after a trip overseas.
Mystic Guide’s main competitor is Happy Saver. The Todd Pletcher trainee is undefeated in five-lifetime starts and defeated Mystic Guide in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), beating Mystic Guide. After a long vacation, Happy Saver returned to outclass an optional claiming field by a workmanlike one length. Happy Saver had a bullet five-furlong breeze of :59.40 on June 18 in preparation for the Suburban Stakes.

Moretti finished a distant second to Tacitus in last year’s Suburban Stakes. A stablemate to Happy Saver, Moretti returned off a long layoff to place third in the 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn Stakes (G2). It was an excellent effort, considering that he was wide the entire race. Moretti has hit the board in all three starts at Belmont, and at 10-1 morning odds, he is a live longshot.
Informative hasn’t won beyond 1 mile 70 yards; however, the Uriah St. Lewis trainee was the surprise winner of the Salvador Mile (G3), paying a whopping $161.60 to win, over a full field of stakes winners. Should he carry that form into the Suburban, Informative could hit the board again at long odds.
Prioritize takes on graded stakes company for the third time in his career, hoping for an improved placing. He was third in last year’s Woodward Handicap (G1) at Saratoga, beaten just three lengths. The Jams Bond trainee returned to finish fourth, beaten 8 1/4-lengths, behind Happy Saver in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).
In his first start of 2021 in the Pimlico Special (G3), Prioritize lagged well behind the pack before making his move in the stretch and finishing with interest, beating out Max Player by a neck. An improvement in his second start of the year could earn Prioritize a minor award.
Max Player showed promise last year in Linda Rice’s barn. After capturing the Withers Stakes (G3), he finished third in the Belmont Stakes(G1) and Travers (G1) before switching […]

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