Following a string of four straight runner-up finishes, Beach Patrol switched to stalking tactics in the June 10 Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park and wound up off the board, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in fourth. The Grade 1-winning colt drew the innermost post for Saturday’s $300,000 United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park and should put his speed to good use in a nine-horse field lacking any true front-runners.
Trained by reigning Eclipse Award winner and turf maestro Chad Brown, 4-year-old Beach Patrol retains the services of Florent Geroux and rates as the likely favorite in the 1 3/8-mile turf affair.
Oscar Nominated exits a third in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) on the Kentucky Derby undercard and the 4-year-old appears to be coming on for trainer Mike Maker, who will also send out multiple Grade 3 scorer Big Picture. Oscar Nominated figures to be stalking the action under new jockey Kendrick Carmouche and Bigger Picture is eligible to race up close with Joe Bravo taking the mount.
Itsinthepost reeled off 1 ½-mile wins in the San Luis Rey (G2) and Elkhorn (G2) before finishing fifth as the favorite most recently in the 10-furlong Charles Whittingham (G2) at Santa Anita. The 5-year-old gelding invades from the West Coast for Jeff Mullins and regular rider Tyler Baze will accompany him.
Multiple graded winner Messi is one of two for Graham Motion. The 7-year-old gelding will try to move forward off a close third in his 2017 opener, the Fort Marcy (G3) at Belmont Park, and Orlando Boccahica picks up the mount. Motion also has Grade 3 victor Can’thelpbelieving, an outsider following a non-threatening fourth in the Red Bank (G3) over the course.
Lucky Lindy captured the Ontario Derby (G3) and Hawthorne Derby (G3) in his final two starts of 2015 and the 5-year-old returned from a 19-month layoff with an allowance/optional claiming triumph at Monmouth on May 27. Michael Matz trains the intriguing late runner and leading rider Nik Juarez has the call.
Rounding out the field are Liam the Charmer, who just missed finishing fourth in the Charles Whittingham for Michael McCarthy; and Closing Bell, who returns to stakes company for Bill Mott after capturing an allowance/optional claiming event at Belmont.