With Joe Bravo providing the perfect ground-saving ride, Big
Blue Kitten shot up the rail in deep stretch and galloped out to a length and a
quarter victory in Saturday’s 62nd running of the $500,000 United
Nations Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park.
In the days
other feature, longshot Raging Daoust was up at the wire to take the $150,000
Salvator Mile by a nose, one of the winners that contributed to the Jersey
Shore 6 being hit for $161,490.36.
Kitten, owned by Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey and trained by Chad Brown, paid
$7, $3.40 and $2.80 across the board as second choice in the United Nations. He
stopped the timer in 2:11 4/5 for the mile and three-eighths over a firm turf
North, who tried for the lead in mid-stretch, had to settle for second, one
length ahead of Hangover Kid, a 47-1 shot. Little Mike, last year’s Breeders’
Cup Turf winner, set all the pace to deep stretch as the 8-5 favorite, but
backed up in the final sixteenth to finish fourth.
completed the $46.80 exacta and paid $6.80 to place and $4.60 to show. Hangover
Kid returned $8.40 to show.
Kitten, a 5-year-old by Kitten’s Joy, earned $300,000 for his victory, bringing
his lifetime total to $698,530. In June, he ran second, beaten a length and a
quarter in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes on the grass here.
who watched the race on television at his Belmont Park
barn, was quick to credit the rider for his part in the big victory.
memorable ride from Joe Bravo,” Brown said. “That was one for his highlight
reel. I had so much confidence in Joe riding this horse. I came down when he
ran at Monmouth last out, and Joe told me if he knew this horse a little bit
more he would have probably won that one.
last race, Joe really sold me on giving the United Nations some consideration,”
Brown said. “I spoke with Joe this morning and pretty much left it up to him.
He had so much confidence in our chances when we spoke today.”
all smiles in the winner’s circle.
amazing how much you can learn from one race,” he said. “Looking back, we could
have won that last one (Monmouth Stakes), but I took what I learned there and
used it today. Little Mike came off the rail just a little in the stretch and
we were able to get through.”
was coming off two losing races in Dubai.
He went right to the front today, but gave up the lead at the eighth pole as
Big Blue Kitten and Teaks North came running by.
running of the Salvator Mile (G3) provided a thrilling finish as Raging Daoust
got up in the final stride to nose out the front-running Big Sur.
a 4-year-old owned by James Costabile Jr. and Ronald Juliano and trained by
Charles (Buddy) Carlesimo Jr., lit up the tote board with his first graded
stakes victory, returning $69, $22.80 and $6.80 across the board.
Big Sur, who led every step of the one-mile trip but the
last, completed the $420.60 exacta as he paid $15.20 to place and $5.80 to
off the second choice in the field of eight at 2-1, paid $2.80 to show as he
finished three lengths behind the embattled leaders. Discreet Dancer, the
even-money favorite, finished fourth.
Santiago rode Raging Daoust, who affirmed his love of the Monmouth Park
main track by winning for the sixth time in seven tries after stopping the
timer in 1:36 4/5 over a fast track. He earned a winner’s prize of $90,000 for
his first graded stakes score, sending his lifetime bankroll to $273,203. The
gelding by Kafwain suffered his only Monmouth loss when he ran fifth in the
slop on May 11 in the Decathlon Stakes.
pointing him for this race since we got here,” Carlesimo said. “It all worked
out according to plan. I told the rider to sit behind the speed and angle him
out turning for home. That’s exactly how it happened. I think he’s a perfect
Big Sur grabbed the lead right out of the gate. Raging
Daoust was mid-pack until the backstretch, when he moved to second. The leader
came into the stretch with a clear margin, but Santiago angled Raging Daoust off the rail
and set sail for the wire. He got up to win the photo in the final stride.
to use his natural speed to get a good position,” Santiago said. “I knew once I got my horse to
the outside he had plenty of run and he wasn’t going to stop.”
Shore 6, which requires the bettor to pick six winners and to have the only
ticket on the winning combination, was hit on the Saturday card. The wager, new
to Monmouth Park this year, paid $161,490.36. The
winning ticket was played at a betting outlet in Maine.