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Teaks North Eyes Sword Dancer

Teaks North maintained his perfect record on the Monmouth grass last weekend, winning the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes in a thriller for his fourth straight score here.


The U.N. – a “win-and-you’re-in” event -- punched his ticket for the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.


“He came out of it great,” said trainer Justin Sallusto. “He could have run the next day. He was acting like a very fresh horse.”


Teaks North closed with a flourish to outfinish Chinchon by a half-length, with the French mare Stacelita another half-length back in third.


“I think his next race will be the Sword Dancer (at Saratoga on Aug. 13), with the Breeders’ Cup as the ultimate goal,” Sallusto said. “We’ll give him a break after the Breeders’ Cup and get him ready for Gulfstream Park in the winter.”


An unlikely hero who emerged from the United Nations was General Perfect. The 8-year-old New Jersey-bred had never raced farther than six furlongs on grass before he tackled the 11-furlong U.N.


In the Grade 1 event, General Perfect, sent off at 72-1, trailed much of the way before making a late move that carried him to fifth in the 10-horse field.


“I always thought he could go long,” said trainer Glenn Thompson. “I was really proud of him. I hope the U.N. was a coming-out party for him.


“The way he ran changes everything,” Thompson said. “It’s a different ballgame now, and I’m looking at major distance races for him. I’m thinking about the Oceanport (G3 here on July 31) and then the Arlington Million (G1 on Aug. 13).”




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