From a Monmouth Park release
A field of 10 is set for Sunday’s $500,000, Grade 1, United Nations Stakes, Monmouth Park’s signature event on turf. The nation’s top grass runners are set to travel one-mile-and-three-eighths in this Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, which will go as the finale on the 12-race program.
Breaking from the rail is one-half of the Todd Pletcher trained entrants, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Charming Kitten, who gets 13-time Monmouth Park riding champion Joe Bravo in the irons. Bravo has won the last two runnings of the U.N., including the 2013 edition for the Ramsey’s atop Big Blue Kitten. Charming Kitten enters the U.N. off of a victory in the two-mile Belmont Gold Cup on June 6.
Just to the outside of Charming Kitten will be Ghurair and Twilight Eclipse, the second choice and favorite on the morning line, respectively. The 5-2 favorite Twilight Eclipse is a multiple graded stakes winner, but seeks his first in a Grade 1 in the U.N. Second choice on the line at 3-1, Ghurair will break from the two-hole with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens in the irons.
At the other end of the gate will be the globetrotting Side Glance, who has drawn post 10. Conditioned by Andrew Balding, Side Glance truly embodies the United Nations, as this race marks the sevnth country and fifth continent he has raced in. Jamie Spencer, champion rider in both Ireland and Britain, also travels across the pond to return aboard Side Glance.
Kaigun, who will run in his fourth straight Grade 1 event, will be saddled by Mark Casse. Kaigun looks to improve off a strong second place finish in his last outing, where he was bested by just over a length in the Manhattan Stakes on June 7.
- Charming Kitten, Joe Bravo, 9/2
- Ghurair, Gary Stevens, 3-1
- Twilight Eclipse, Jose Lezcano, 5/2
- Manchurian High, Forest Boyce, 30-1
- Main Sequence, Rajiv Maragh, 8-1
- Exclusive Strike, Paco Lopez, 15-1
- Kaigun, Alan Garcia, 5-1
- Winning Cause, Chris DeCarlo, 15-1
- Lochte, Orlando Bocachica, 10-1
- Side Glance, Jamie Spencer, 15-1
U.N. STAKES NOTES
- Sunday will mark the 63rd running of a race that began life at Atlantic City Race Course.
- Six horses have won back-to-back runnings of the UN, most recently Presious Passion (2008-2009) and English Channel (2006-2007).
- One horse – Round Table – won two non-consecutive runnings of the event, in 1957 and 1959. In the latter race, he carried 136 pounds, the most ever for a UN winner.
- The last U.N. runner to win a year-end championship was Stacelita, third in the 2011 edition. She won the Eclipse Award for Champion Female Turf Horse. The last U.N. winner to annex a year-end title was English Channel, champion Male Turf Horse of 2007.