• The week’s top Beyer speed figure in North America
Monmouth Park (July 18): United Nations Stakes G1 $315,000 1m3f, turf, 3yo+
Trainer: Michael Maker
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Owner: Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher et al
Pedigree: 7yo b h Giant’s Causeway – Pussycat Doll (Real Quiet)
Whether the United Nations deserves it G1 status is a debate for another day – here’s a clue: it probably doesn’t – but the Haskell support race nevertheless produced last week’s highest Beyer speed figure.
What is more, it came from an unlikely source in the shape of Aquaphobia, a seven-year-old never previously placed in any sort of graded-stakes company.
That said, he had shown distinct signs of improvement this term since being claimed for $62,500 less than six months ago by trainer Mike Maker, who specialises in this sort of thing.
Still, despite Aquaphobia’s having come fourth behind Factor This in a pair of G2s, it was asking a lot to expect to suddenly pop up in a G1 – even this G1 – but the extra distance plus the addition of ‘Jersey Joe’ Bravo worked the oracle.
After a perfect stalking trip saving ground on the inner, Aquaphobia quickened to lead 100 yards out to score by a length over front-running Paret in a race where nothing could get involved from the rear.
The winner clocked 2m12.63s for a 102 Beyer.
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