United return from wide trip to defend league title John Henry Turf E! News UK
The 6-year-old decorated gelding United didn’t have the easiest trip during the John Henry Turf Grade 2 Championship at Santa Anita Park on October 2, but still won their second edition of the stakes race. United and rider Flavien Prat were brought back at the start of the grass descent and settled near the back of the field on the first pass past the stands as Acclimate and Neptune’s Storm controlled the pace. Prat kept United off the rail and quietly passed a few horses before taking a break on the backstretch. The pair made their move even before the final turn, swinging wide and knocking out rivals, charging just in time to catch up with Acclimate and get ahead of Friar’s Road, who was making a last-to-first effort.
The final time for the 1 1/4 miles was 1: 58.41, with fractional times of: 22.70,: 46.32, 1: 11.42 and 1: 35.01. Acclimatization continued for second place on Friar’s Road.
United came out of the favorite with odds of 7-5 and paid $ 4.80, $ 3.40 and $ 2.40.
Richard Mandella’s trainee arrived in the race after a fourth place in the G2 Del Mar Handicap, where Acclimate just knocked him off the table. His credits this year include wins in G2 Eddie Read and G3 San Luis Rey. Last year he won or finished second in five of six starts, collecting four ranked wins but finishing a disappointing eighth place in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The race was his fourth card win for Prat, and the second for Mandella and owner LNJ Foxwoods.
United was bred in Kentucky by Rosemont Farm. He is the son of Indy Punches, the mare of Giant’s Causeway and Pulling Punches. As a wean he sold for $ 240,000 at the November Keeneland Breeding Sale, where he was consigned by Trackside Farm and purchased by Glencrest Farm. The following year he competed in the Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale, where he raised $ 300,000 from buyer Solis / Litt and was featured by Four Star Sales.
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