One of the premier turf events of the summer highlights the holiday weekend at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. The Grade 1 $750,000 United Nations is run at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, certainly an odd distance, but one that makes this race a good barometer of who you might be able to look for in future long-distance turf races later on the calendar, like the Grade 1 Man O'War and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf. Here is the analysis:
I made a yeoman's effort to try and find someone in this race that could beat #9 Chinchon and just couldn't do it. He is the defending champion in this race and while he has not won again since that race, he looks awfully tough in here. The one thing that really worried me about him is the travel schedule he has followed since winning here last year. From Monmouth, he went to France, Canada, Dubai, and Singapore. Garrett Gomez has the ride on Chinchon, just as he did in 2010. Another overseas horse lights my fancy in here with #7 Stacelita. She is a French-bred filly that has faced the boys in the last two, so it is certainly nothing new to her here. She ran third in a Group 3 race at Longchamp last time out on June 13. This will not be her first foray out of Europe, though. She went to Hong Kong to race at Sha Tin in December in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup, finishing eighth. I will put #5 Sleepless Knight in the third spot. He ran second behind Teaks North (also in this field) in the Grade 3 Monmouth on June 12. The Sire is 2000 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, War Chant. That Grade 3 last time out is the first time this horse was let off at more than 4-1 since his career debut at Gulfstream in February 2009. He is 6-1 on the morning line for this try. Trainer Kelly Breen has been doing very well of late. For fourth, I am going with the winner of the Grade 3 Breeders' Cup Marathon last fall, #4 Eldaafer. He was a winner two back at 1 mile and 40 yards at Atlantic City during their brief season. He followed that up by running fourth of five in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap the day before the Belmont Stakes in New York. This horse is bred to run all day with three Belmont Stakes winners present in the last two generations. Paco Lopez has the ride. Here is the play for the Grade 1 $750,000 United Nations:
$20 WPS #9
$2 EX 9 with 2-4-5-7
The blog is now MINUS $752 for the year. Like I said last week, at least we are coming close, but of course, THEY DON'T PAY YOU FOR CLOSE, DO THEY?!?!?!? Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers made in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!