The Grade 1, $300,000 United Nations Stakes is set to run on Saturday as the eleventh race on a Monmouth Park card loaded with allowances races. Each year, the United Nations serves as an important race to kick off the summer. Its winners have had success later on in the year at meets like Saratoga and Arlington Park. This year, the race drew a field of nine horses, including one for Chad Brown, two for Mike Maker, and two for Graham Motion.
Chad Brown brings in his highly-classy Beach Patrol, the expected morning-line favorite. Set to be ridden by Florent Geroux for the seventh time in a row, he finished second in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs in May and fourth in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes on June 10. Last year, he won the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park, and has earned nearly $900,000 in his career. A win here would put him over the $1,000,000 mark.
#1 Beach Patrol – This horse has run too good to lose this year, but he’s just missed in all three of his starts. That changes here, as Chad Brown has found him a perfect spot where he should set the pace and be very hard to catch. This will be his fifth straight start in a Grade 1 race, but this is the easiest of the five. The pace setup really looks to be in his favor, so Geroux should take this classy horse wire-to-wire. He deserves to get a win here.
Horses to Use in Multi-Race Wagers
#2 Itsinthepost – He’s having a very productive 2017 so far with two wins, two seconds, and one fifth, but he was only beaten by a little over a length in that race. His two wins cane against Grade 2 company at Santa Anita (the San Luis Rey) and Keeneland (the Dixiana Elkhorn), so that shows that he can win on multiple tracks. He also has a win in France as well, so there isn’t much worry about him handling the ship to Monmouth. He should have a chance to run down Beach Patrol, but he’s most likely going to need a solid pace in front of him because he’ll drop back and try to make one run at the end.
#8 Oscar Nominated – I never thought that he would amount to much, but he’s ended up becoming a very valuable turf horse. However, he’s had a little bit of a problem actually getting to the winner’s circle. His last four races were all great efforts but finished as seconds and thirds. I don’t see that trend changing here, but he’s certainly going to be around at the end with a chance.
#3 Bigger Picture – He finished eighth in this race last year, but after that poor effort, he won two Grade 3 stakes and finished second in another. Based on that track record, plus a fourth-place effort in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida and a third in the Dixiana Elkhorn, he’s a consistent horse. Not sure you can put him on top, but he’s definitely one to play underneath in tris and supers.
#5 Messi – He’s in this category based solely on the fact that he’s a hard horse to get a read on each time he’s entered. He’s won both a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 race, so he has the talent to win here, but he’s also run several poor races as well. Last time out, he was solid when finishing third in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy at Belmont Park off of a long layoff. If he can build off of that race, he’ll offer some value here that you might not want to ignore, but it’s hard to fully depend on him.
#6 Liam the Charmer – This California shipper has some good efforts on his PP’s, but he hasn’t been able to take down a stakes race yet. It’s a good idea to give it a shot on the east coast in this spot, but he might just be more of an allowance horse.
#7 Can’thelpbelieving – This is a very classy individual that makes me a little nervous to throw out, but I haven’t liked his 2017 races at all. I’ve never thought of him as a Grade 1 type of horse, either, so I had to put him in this spot. We’ll see if he can show a little bit better form this time out.
#4 Closing Bell – He was a nice allowance winner last time out, but I’m skeptical that he’s ready for stakes company coming out of that race. His previous graded stakes efforts haven’t gone that well (6-0-1-1), so wait until he proves that he can hang with these foes before backing him.
#9 Lucky Linda – Coming into this one on a three-race winning streak, this is sure to be a bit of a step up in class. However, he did win the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby two races back, so he’s not without a chance.
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