Sunday’s mid-Atlantic stakes winners…
Big Blue Kitten takes Grade 1 United Nations
- Big Blue Kitten
- trained by Chad Brown
- ridden by Joe Bravo
- owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey
- Storyline: For the second time in three years, Big Blue Kitten rolled home to win the second biggest race of the Monmouth Park season, the $500,000, Grade 1 United Nations Stakes. In so doing, he denied Main Sequence’s bid for a repeat and may have moved himself to the head of the Eastern turf class. Yesterday, he bided his time in seventh, while another Ramsey runner, 129-1 outsider Shining Copper, set sharp fractions while loose on the lead in the 1 3/8 mile turf race. Rounding the turn for home, rider Joe Bravo steered the son of Kitten’s Joy three wide, and the pair unleashed a strong move to roll to a 1 1/2 length win. Shining Copper held on gamely to be fourth, while Slumber rallied for second and Twilight Eclipse was third.
- Said the winners: “Man, I keep saying it but he’s just like an old glass of wine – he keeps getting better with age,” Bravo said after the race, marking Big Blue Kitten’s 13th career victory and pushing his earnings pas the $2 million mark. Trainer Chad Brown gave much of the credit to Bravo. “They’re a great pair,” he said. “This is Joe’s mount and I hope there’s several more Grade 1’s in their future.”
- Notably: Eclipse champion turf male Main Sequence failed to fire and ended up seventh as the 8-5 favorite. Jockey Rajiv Maragh had no answers for the loss, which was Main Sequence’s second straight disappointing effort and snapped a five-race winning streak in North America. “The pace was there and we sat just where we wanted to, but it just wasn’t our day,” the rider said.
Grade 3 Salvator Mile, Monmouth Park
- trained by Eddie Kenneally
- ridden by Corey Lanerie
- owned by Joseph Sutton
- Storyline: Sent off at nearly 7-1, Bradester ran like a big favorite to take yesterday’s Grade 3 Salvator Mile by two lengths. The five-year-old son of Lion Heart dueled briefly for the lead with longshot Fabulous Kid, disposed of that rival, and then had plenty in the tank to hold off pace-pressing Valid, who emptied out late to be third, and late-running Red Vine, who ended up second. “It was a fairly slow pace and with this kind of horse they weren’t going to beat him from there,” said winning rider Corey Lanerie. Trainer Eddie Kenneally said that Bradester, whose earnings eclipsed $500,000 with the winner’s share, would most likely run back in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup on Haskell day.
- Notably: Race Day, the 9-10 favorite, was never much involved and finished sixth of seven.