June 24, 2024

Bigger Picture to make fourth straight appearance in United Nations

Bigger Picture improved to two-for-three in 2019 when winning the 1 1/2-mile Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland (c) Coady Photo

Last seen winning the April 20 Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland, Bigger Picture earned his biggest career victory when capturing the $300,000 United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park in 2017. The veteran gelding will make his fourth consecutive appearance in the 1 3/8-mile turf affair on Saturday.

Bigger Picture has won six graded stakes and earned more than $1 million for owner Three Diamonds Farm and Mike Maker since being claimed for $32,000 in his 2015 finale. He was unplaced in his first edition of the United Nations in 2016 and finished third last year. The chestnut son of Badge of Silver is still going strong at age 8, winning the John B. Connelly (G3) at Sam Houston along with the Elkhorn earlier this season, and Joe Bravo will pick up the mount.

Maker also has Zulu Alpha, winner of the Mac Diarmida (G2) and W.L. McKnight (G3) at Gulfstream over the winter. The six-year-old gelding will try to rebound from a seventh in the May 11 Man o’ War (G1) and Channing Hill takes over the reins.

Chad Brown will send postward Arrocha and Focus Group. A three-time Grade 1 winner in Brazil, Arrocha must rebound from an unplaced effort in his North American debut. Antonio Gallardo has been named to ride. Focus Group recorded his initial graded win in the Pan American (G2) at Gulfstream Park two back and the five-year-old may compete for favoritism with Jose Ortiz.

Monmouth will offer a pair of graded stakes before the United Nations.

In the $150,000 Eatontown (G3), Valedictorian will meet five rivals over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Three-for-four on Monmouth’s turf, the five-year-old mare earned her first graded tally when taking the Suwanee River (G3) at Gulfstream Park in February. Her challengers include Inflexibility, a multiple stakes queen from the Brown barn.

Diamond King heads a seven-horse field in the $150,000 Philip H. Iselin (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. John Servis will add blinkers on the four-year-old colt following a pair of close seconds in the Salvator Mile (G3) and Charles Town Classic (G2).