The United Nations Stakes – Grade I
MTH Race #12 1 3/8m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $300.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.
If we just looked at this race for what we know of HRP then we would be looking for a three year old, ridden by a proven turf jockey, working within 0.2 seconds of the older horses and drawn to suit its running style. But there are just one or two variables left that can upset the norm and that is a wet track and the fact that just a few older horses can compete with the three’s and there may be one or two in this very field.
So lets take a look at the runners and try and find a scenario that doesn’t lead to a horse like Tonys April Thrill winning this race.
1 Black Horizon Maxmillion Farm Gutierrez Mario
This gelding ticks plenty of boxes despite on the face of it being little better than average. Trained by the Turf King Maxmillion Farm and ridden by a jockey with a turf strength, he gets an inside draw which he won from last time and worked a 1.34 and 2 turf mile recently. So kicking out his form which has only included two wins at overnight level he would go into the top category just on those special HRP attributes.
2 Moline Aer Stables Lezcano J
Another three year old this time trained by inform stable AER Stables. He again ticks plenty of boxes, drawn in the best draw of two he worked a 1.09 and 2 just a few days ago and apart from a poor run on a wet track last time has showed he can compete at a decent enough level. He seems a little inconsistent which is a bit of a put off but with all things equal he again fits nicely into the top hopes.
3 Five Civil Nations Nakamura Stables Cedillo A
Now here is an interesting one. On the plus side he has the Nak factor going for him from a decent draw, he loves a longer trip and has run two good seconds at graded level and won the Dangers Hour in between. On the negative side he has only worked similar times as the three year olds and being a four year old has to give away 6 pounds. In the ast few seasons it has been that last point which has been the biggest problem in the demise of older horses taking on the three’s and again it may be the biggest factor here. There are less question marks about him but recent history has to be ignored to see him winning.
4 Tonys Aprill Thrill Mb Stables Beschizza A
This one really is that special type of HRP horse that ends up going from zero to hero in no time at all. So lets look at the positives, he was bought for $75 by the best trainer in the game, he worked 1.34 and 2 for the turf mile, he is drawn OK and he has an in form jockey aboard, and of course he is a three year old.
So why does that make him different to any of the others, well the fact that he was beaten a total of 22 lengths at the free track in three of his last 4 runs and last time out won a dirt claimer again at the free track. Now in any other circumstance you would laugh at this entry but you must remember this is HRP not real life, and that’s what makes him special because believe it or not he has a winning chance here.
5 Plucky Ben Arindel Gaffalione T
Five year olds tend to fair better than four year olds against the three’s but i don’t see enough here to see how he can do anything about the negatives against his name. Unable to win in 4 attempts this year at allowance level, drawn a little tricky and working slower turf times than everything else recently i really can’t see him at the front of the pack. What will not thought is that his dirt work of 1.36 and 2 at the beginning of the month was pretty good and i just wonder whether a change of scenery may get him going next time.
6 Bobs Ticket Mb Stables Garcia Mar
Another three year old from the stable he looks the more traditional type winner with good works and some top class form albeit on the dirt. Its funny that the best trainer in the game claimed him when he was running on turf and immediately switched him to the dirt winning a stakes race and nearly winning the grade three Peter Pan last time. It seemed like the trainer had made an astute decision and brought about vast improvement by changing the running surface but here he is back on turf. That decision reinforces the fact that surface doesn’t make much difference to a lot of good horses and whilst i don’t think turf will improve him it may not have to to see him winning this race.
7 No New Friends Hambletonian Stable Cohen D
This is an interesting one because whilst he ticks very few of the HRP boxes he did run such a good race in the Whittingham last time that its hard not to see him running well. His works are slower, Mb let him go in a claimer, he’s drawn wide and he has a jockey with a turf weakness all of which condemn him to the back of the pack but he may just be a fly in the ointment based on that run last time which just had improvement written all over it.
8 Unamerican Nakamura Stables Gryder A T
Again plenty of negatives, the wide draw the fact that he is older but he has shown some swift improvement recently and may just be another with a hope of breaking the trend. His last two works have been fantastic and with all of the power of the Nak factor well i can see him running a huge race especially if there is plenty of pace on and he can get a decent position.
9 Fuji Smokey Stover Tunon M
Its a shame this one got the car park because he gets Tunon who is the turf jockey to follow this year and he has probably the best recent form in the race. He was the easy winner of the MTH Stakes last time on a rain affected track but proved prior to that when close up in the San Francisco Mile that he isn’t just a wet tracker. I think he may go well over this extended trip and if the race engine lets him he may just about win.
If this was a real life race i would put Unamerican, No New Friends and Five Civil Nations on top but if i had to pick three based on HRP i would say Tonys April Thrill, Black Horizon and Fuji on top….i wonder which one will be the better choice.