Little Mike, a winner of multiple Grade 1 stakes events
including last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Classic, is set for Saturday’s
Grade 1 United Nations Stakes
at Monmouth. He and a field of top stakes company will travel a mile
and three eights on the turf in the hopes of capturing the winner’s
share of the $500,000 purse.
Little Mike is coming off of a trip to Dubai where
he ran in two Group 1 events at Meydan Racecourse, the Al Maktoum
Challenge Round 3 where he finished 8th on March 9 and the Dubai Duty Free on March 30 where he crossed the wire in 11th
place, spraining his ankle in the process. Trainer Dale Romans believes
that Little Mike is now fully recovered and ready for the United
“We just had to let him freshen up and get back on his feet after
Dubai,” said Romans. “He feels ready to go now. He trained good for the last month or so. He’s doing everything right.”
A 6-year-old gelding by Spanish Steps from the
Wavering Monarch dam Hey Jude, Little Mike is a perfect two-for-two on
the turf at
Park, where he broke his maiden and bested
the field in an allowance event in 2009. In those two races Little Mike
made $69,700 of his $3,074,412 in lifetime earnings for owner Priscilla
“His success at Monmouth definitely had something to do with it,” said Romans of Little Mike’s return to
Little Mike, who is currently stabled at Monmouth
Park in the barn of trainer Eddie Plesa, will have jockey Joel Rosario
aboard as he breaks from post position
seven in the 62nd renewal of the United Nations Stakes. The U.N. will go as race 11 on Saturday’s 12-race card.
RAGING DAOUST TRIES FOR FIRST STAKES WIN IN SALVATOR MILE
Raging Daoust will try for his first stakes victory
in Saturday’s Grade 3 $150,000 Salvator Mile. Conditioned by Buddy
Carlesimo, Raging Daoust is coming
off of a win at Monmouth in his last race where he edged out his
opponent by a nose in a six furlong optional claiming event.
“He sure seems to like Monmouth,” said Carlesimo of
Raging Daoust, who is an impressive five for six in Oceanport, and has
racked up $111,300 of his $183,203
in lifetime earnings in those six races here.
A 4-year-old gelding by Kafwain out of Champagne
Forever, Raging Daoust has worked twice since his win at Monmouth on
June 8. He breezed a bullet five furlongs
in 1:00 4/5 on June 23 where he was the best of 11 that day, and he
most recently breezed four furlongs in :49 1/5 on June 29.
“He’s doing great,” Carlesimo said. “A mile should
be a good distance for him. It’s his third race off the layoff so he
should improve. We’ve been pointing
toward this race for a while.”
A James Costabile Jr. and Ronald Juliano
color-bearer, Raging Daoust will be up against tough competition on
Saturday as he competes against the likes of
Bowman’s Beast and Lucy’s Bob Boy, both of which have never finished
worse than second in their five and 16 race careers, respectively.
Jockey Victor Santiago gets the mount on Raging
Daoust in the Salvator Mile, which goes as race 10 on Saturday’s 12-race
SLEEPLESS KNIGHT LOOKS TO CONTINUE STELLAR YEAR IN ELKWOOD
Sleepless Knight will try for his second career
stakes win in Friday’s $75,000 Elkwood Stakes for 3-year-olds and up.
Trained by Kelly Breen, Sleepless Knight
looks to continue his success at Monmouth, as he has finished in the
money in four of his seven starts in Oceanport, including his only
stakes win in the 2009 Lamplighter Stakes. He is coming off of a victory
in his last race at
Delaware, where he bested the field by a length and a quarter on June 6.
“He looks to be in really great form now,” said
Breen. “He’s having a really good year. He’s training well, working
well, and thankfully the rain stopped
so it should give him a pretty good chance at a stakes win.”Sleepless Knight, who races under the colors of
George and Lori Hall, has worked once since his last race, breezing four
furlongs in :48 4/5, good enough
for sixth best of 47 at that distance on June 22. He is set to travel a
mile Friday against a field of tough turf competitors, but Breen says
that he is not the one contemplating strategy.
“I’ll let Paco (jockey Lopez) worry about the pace,” Breen said. “He won on him last time out so he knows him.”
The Elkwood will go as race 9 on a 10-race card on Friday.
FANS LOOK FORWARD TO T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY AS
HOLIDAY WEEKEND CONTINUES
Independence Day weekend continues at
Park on Friday. Five stakes events highlight
the next three days, including the Grade 1 $500,000 United Nations
Stakes on Saturday, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race.
On the same day fans will receive a free
Park t-shirt with the price of admission to the park.
The racetrack will also continue the jockey
autograph and memorabilia sale, which will carry on until the end of the
weekend. Fans can also look forward
to Family Fun Day on Sunday with free pony rides, face painting, bounce
houses, and live music by Cats On A Smooth Surface who will perform “On
the Green”. In addition, Monmouth will host a $200 Monmouth/Woodbine
Handicapping Contest on Sunday, in which the
top two finishers will earn an all expense-paid trip to Las Vegas as well as a seat at the National Handicapping Championship.Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with post time at 12:50 p.m. for each day of the holiday weekend.