By Tom Quigley
$300,000 United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park
Race 11 (Saturday, July 18, 2020: 5:12 p.m./ET; 2:12 p.m./PT)
One mile and three-eighths on the turf (three-year-olds and upward)
Six stakes races highlight an outstanding card at Monmouth Park and the first of two Grade I races on the program goes as Race 11, the United Nations (G1) for elite turf marathoners. Let’s take a closer look at the field:
#1 ARKLOW has danced every dance in long distance American turf races, competing in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) and scoring an impressive victory in the Turf Classic Invitational (G1) at Belmont Park in October. His most recent start came just six days ago when finishing almost four lengths behind the ultra-classy ZULU ALPHA at Keeneland.
#2 STANDARD DEVIATION flattened out after racing wide in the Tiller Stakes at Belmont on June 4 and finished two-and-three-quarter lengths behind #9 PARET. Graham Motion trainee is a perfect two-for-two over this turf course, including a victory in the Jersey Derby last summer.
#3 MUGGSAMATIC won the Florida-bred Soldier Dancer Stakes at Gulfstream Park off a three-and-a-half-month layoff in his most recent start, continuing his streak of finishing first or second in his last six starts. Mike Maker trainee has won three of seven races over the Monmouth turf course and gets leading Monmouth Park jockey Paco Lopez in the irons.
#4 EVE’S MEDAL ran in a maiden race to kick off his career on July 5 and finished second at odds of 66/1. He makes his second lifetime start in the United Nations (G1). Ambitious spotting by his connections. Pass.
#5 AQUAPHOBIA defeated stablemate #3 MUGGSMATIC in the Old Man Eloquent Stakes four starts ago, but has lost three races since. Paco Lopez rode him in his last victory, but sides with the other Maker entrant, so Joe Bravo hops aboard. A notch below the best.
#6 CURRENT was ultra-game when finishing a neck off of ZULU ALPHA in the Pan American (G2) at Gulfstream Park in March. After taking a two-month freshening, he returned to the races and finished two lengths behind #9 PARET in the Tiller Stakes at Belmont. Hasn’t won since 2018 when victorious against two-year-olds in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland, which is cause for pause.
#7 O DIONYSUS, a son of BODEMEISTER, has not raced since November. Although his speed figures indicate he may be competitive for a minor placing, this is the toughest assignment he’s ever had, and he’ll need to run a career best to win.
#8 CORELLI adds Lasix and blinkers for trainer Jonathan Thomas, who wins at a high 32% clip when adding the hood. Last time out, he went off at 33/1 in the Tiller Stakes and finished three lengths behind the winner. It was his first start off a nine-month layoff and his first start in the United States. With that said, he could improve with a race under his belt and the aforementioned equipment a changes.
#9 PARET (AUS) was all business at a price (38-1) in the Tiller while racing for the first time in seven-and-a-half months. Although a big price, most of his previous North American races resulted in in-the-money finishes against decent company. He moved to the barn of James Lawrence in the middle of 2019 and may be hitting his best stride at the age of six. Not going to discount.
1. #2 STANDARD DEVIATION – Adores this turf course.
2. #1 ARKLOW - Class of the race.
3. #9 PARET – Logical to expect further improvement in second start of 2020.
LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY - #3 MUGGSAMATIC – Been in sharp form since this time last year.
I’ll wager my entire bankroll on my top pick to win.
BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget) $50 Win: #2 STANDARD DEVIATION
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