European invader Chinchon made a dramatic swooping move
around the far turn and then rolled right on by his rivals in the stretch to
capture the $750,000 Betfair TVG United Nations Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
In the day’s other Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In event, Phipps
Stable’s Gone Astray closed fastest of all to score by five lengths in the
$250,000 Salvator Mile Stakes (G3).
A crowd of 13,783 was on hand for United Nations Day, and they contributed to a
non-Haskell record betting total of $9,787,620 for the day. The wagering
eclipsed the former non-Haskell Day mark of $9,357,444 set here on opening day,
Garrett Gomez allowed Chinchon, an Irish-bred 5-year-old trained by Carlos
Laffon-Parias, to race along last of the nine runners until the quarter-pole,
when he moved outside the entire field. Chinchon was widest of all as he
started his run, hit full stride at the furlong pole, and then just sailed past
Take the Points in deep stretch to score by a length and a half.
The winner raced the mile and three-eighths over firm turf in 2:11.77, and paid
$9.60, $4.80 and $3.40 across the board as the third choice.
Take the Points, who started the 5-2 favorite, gained the lead briefly at the
sixteenth pole, but had to settle for second, a half-length in front of Winchester, who closed
strongly to gain the show by a nose over Straight Story.
Take the Points paid $3.80 and $2.80 and completed the $39.20 exacta, while Winchester returned $2.80
This was the second win of the year in four starts for Chinchon, a 5-year-old
son of Marju * Jarama, by Hector Protector, who was racing in France before being sent to the U.S. for this
race. He earned an automatic starting berth in the $3 million Breeders’ Cup
Turf to be run at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
Get Serious and Acclamation set the pace through pedestrian fractions, with
Straight Story right behind. Chinchon was last at every call.
On the final turn, Straight Story went by Get Serious and took the lead, and
then Take the Points came to gain command in midstretch. But Gomez had launched
his rocket on the turn, and when Chinchon straightened out for the drive, he
dug in and had plenty of momentum to sail right past the leaders.
“I was pretty nervous halfway through the race with how slow the early pace
was,” said Laffon-Parias. “I knew it would be tough for him to close. This
horse doesn’t care about the type of ground he’s running on, he just runs. He
doesn’t like to be in between horses, though.
“Now we’ll give him a break back home in Europe.
After today, we’ll keep the Breeders’ Cup in mind. If we decide to go to the
Breeders’ Cup, we’ll give him a prep in Europe.”
Gomez said he was never really worried as his horse trailed the field.
“I thought they would have gone faster up front, but the pace was very
reasonable,” the jockey said. “After the break, I just eased him over to the
fence and sat last most of the way. He was enjoying himself, being all alone in
“I squeezed him a little at the quarter-pole and started advancing up the
inside because I didn’t want to have to swing widest for the drive. Just after
we turned for home, I took him to the outside and he really exploded. He flew
Edgar Prado, who rode Take the Points, said, “He was running very easily, I was
in great position, I was very happy. When I asked him for a little, he gave it
to me every time. I thought I had it won in the stretch, but we just couldn’t
hold off the winner.”
Chinchon went over the $1 million mark in earnings with his victory, as the
$450,000 winner’s share of the United Nations kicked his bankroll to