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Race of the Week: United Nations at Monmouth | Saturday, July 23, 2022

by Jeremy Plonk

July 21, 2022

The Lead:
Haskell Day on the Jersey Shore features top 3-year-olds in a summer showcase, as well as a loaded undercard of stakes. The Grade 1 lead-in is the United Nations on turf, and will be Race 11 of 14, immediately preceding the Haskell. The 1-3/8 miles grass test will be a prominent piece to all of the late-day, multi-race wagers.

Horseplayers on the 1/ST BET app and at Xpressbet will play for an additional $10,000 in bonus winnings in Monmouth's pick 4 and pick 5 wagers including the UN and Haskell as part of the $100,000 July Hit & Split promotions. Take down the Monmouth featured pick 4 or pick 5 on Saturday and collect your parimutuel winnings plus your share of $5,000 in each wager additional, to be split among fellow winning players at 1/ST BET and Xpressbet.

​Field Depth:
Grade 1 winners TRIBHUVAN, the defending UN winner, and GUFO headline the 10-horse marquee. TEMPLE is a Grade 2 winner, while ADHAMO is a Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed. EPIC BROMANCE and GLYNN COUNTY are Grade 1-placed. Clearly TRIBHUVAN, ADHAMO and GUFO have kept the strongest company lines and have the class edge.

TRIBHUVAN won this race wire-to-wire a year ago and should be expected on the lead. EPIC BROMANCE chased a year ago from close-up, and CARPENTERS CALL adds some cheaper speed. This does not appear to be a daunting early pace challenge for TRIBHUVAN, who should be advantaged over a course that plays on the speedier side compared to most.

Our Eyes:
Trainers Chad Brown (4 wins) and Mike Maker (2) have won this race 6 of the last 9 years. They'll each send out a pair of UN challengers Saturday and that's where the discussion should start.

Brown has TRIBHUVAN up front and ADHAMO in rally mode as he searches for a fifth win in this race. Manny Franco guided TRIBHUVAN to a wire job in the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day at 19-1, but the price will be considerably shorter this time. Flavien Prat, who piloted TRIBHUVAN to his UN victory a summer ago, is now seated on ADHAMO, a no-threat runner-up to TRIBHUVAN in the Manhattan. ADHAMO gets a 6-pound weight break to his stablemate, but was in receipt of 4 pounds in the Manhattan to no avail. That Monmouth plays to more speed than Belmont, and that there's not much pace threat here to TRIBHUVAN, conspires to make ADHAMO's job even more difficult, though a high-class colt.

Maker's pair of TEMPLE and GLYNN COUNTY will try to give the trainer a third victory in the UN. GLYNN COUNTY never threatened while fifth from far back in last year's UN and will have a similar pace hurdle to clear in the return. Mike Smith, in to ride Taiba in the Haskell, takes the mount. GLYNN COUNTY is by Kitten's Joy, who died earlier this week after a fabulous run at stud. It would be irony for his son to win this (note: EPIC BROMANCE is also by Kitten's Joy). But it's TEMPLE for Maker that interests me more. He's had 7 in a row in the superfecta and has more pace versatility. He's freshened since April and lures Jose Ortiz, in town to ride Jack Christopher in the Haskell.

GUFO will vie for favoritism as he always does. The public is drawn to this 5-year-old, bet to 5-2 or less odds in each of his last 6 starts outside of the Breeders' Cup Turf. He was a no-excuse, well-beaten third in the aforementioned Manhattan behind a pair of UN repeat rivals. This will be his first run over the Monmouth turf, but he's more of a grinder type that could be compromised by a faster, top-of-ground course like this. From an outside draw around 3 turns, I'll take my chances against him, though he's respected.

Most Certain Exotics Contender:
TRIBHUVAN is classy, fast, and the defending champion. Catch him to win.

Best Longshot Exotics Contender:
EPIC BROMANCE was third here at 61-1 last year and most recently third at 58-1 in the local prep. He'll be near the front early and try to stick to TRIBHUVAN as long as he can.

Sending it in ($100 bankroll):
Let's get a price player under the logical speed. $5 trifecta part-wheel TRIBHUVAN with TEMPLE and EPIC BROMANCE with ALL ($80). $10 exacta part-wheel TRIBHUVAN with TEMPLE and EPIC BROMANCE ($20).