United has already shown that he is one of the best peat horses in the country. Now he might get the chance to sound his stuff over the main song.
The 5-year-old Giant’s Causeway gelding had three consecutive wins in Sunday’s $ 200,000 Grade II Eddie Read Stakes in Del Mar in 2020, and may have earned a berth in the $ 500,000 Pacific Classic on August 22.
“I’ve been thinking about it all summer,” said Hall of Fame coach Richard Mandella after United tucked away pacemaker Neptune’s Storm in the last eighth of a mile and then warded off a late rally from Sharp Samurai to win for the sixth time in 14 begins.
Five of those wins have hit the turf, but he broke his girl over the synthetic surface of Woodbine Park in July 2018, perhaps a sign that he doesn’t need the grass to emerge victorious. Plus, he won at 1 1/4 mile distance from the Pacific Classic, albeit on the turf.
“He trains so well on the sand every month,” said Mandella. “I’m going to consider putting him in the Pacific Classic. We’ll also think about the Del Mar Handicap on grass, but if he continues to train on earth as he has been …”
What should United do between now and August 22 to show he deserves a chance at Del Mar’s signature race?
“Just keep doing what he’s doing,” said Mandella.
And what does Flavien Prat, United’s regular jockey, think?
“He thought I had a good idea,” Mandella said.
United’s inclusion in the Pacific Classic this year would lead to a tough match between two unbeaten horses – United and Maximum Security. Throw in Midcourt, who lost a nose to Maximum Security in San Diego Handicap on Saturday, and defending champion Higher Power and, on paper, we’re watching an intriguing race.
Of course, United had nearly one of the big setbacks of 2019 in Santa Anita last fall, short of behind Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar 51-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
United sent off the 7-5 favorite on Sunday and stalked Storm from Neptunus Storm from the second through the split of 23.88, 47.84 and 1: 11.68 until Prat released the winner in the play. He earned the winner’s share of $ 120,000 by finishing Sharp Samurai in half a length. Neptune’s Storm, the 7-2 second choice, was held third with a half-length above Bowies Hero.
Lately for the mile and one-eighth over a solid turf was 1: 46.71.
“He’s just very special,” said Mandella. “He does everything you ask him to do and more.”
United, who made $ 1,253,549 in his career, has grown into a top-notch horse since he turned four. He has won 5 out of 11 by three seconds since making his debut in February 2019 in eighth place in an optional claimer in Santa Anita. He has fired his best shot in 10 races since finishing first or second on all two except two, and is now retested. If not, there is always this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 7 on Keeneland.
“Riding on such a good horse makes it easier,” said Prat. “Good horses do good things. They put you in good places. It’s all easier with this kind. “
In Sunday’s $ 125,000 California Dreamin ‘Stakes for state brothers on a mile and sixteenth on the turf, Galilean made his grass debut in his 10th start, rallying from fifth place after the first 6 furlongs under Prat to a half victory longshot to achieve Whooping Jay as the 6-5 favorite.
Galilean, trained by John Sadler, ran the distance in 1: 40.87 while winning for the fifth time and improving his career bankroll to $ 514,098.
Prat swept the two bets on Sunday, marking the second time in three days that he won both races on the map. Abel Cedillo swept the San Diego Handicap and San Clemente Stakes on Saturday.