Jockey ‘Jersey Joe’ Bravo and trainer Todd Pletcher enjoyed
a banner day at Monmouth Park on Saturday, capturing the Grade 1, $500,000
United Nations Stakes with Turbo Compressor less than a half-hour after winning
the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Cup with Rule.
“What a day,” said Bravo, after recording his first win in
the United Nations. “I’m very fortunate to
have ridden two great horses this afternoon.
Todd is simply the best.”
Sent off the 5-2 second choice in the field of seven older
horses, Turbo Compressor set the pace in the United Nations and never looked
back, stepping the mile and three eighths over firm turf in 2:12.88. The 4-year-old son of Halo’s Image paid $7,
$4.20 and $3.20. Air Support, who
finished nearly two lengths behind the winner, completed the $32.40 exacta and
paid $5.40 and $3.20. It was another two
lengths back to Al Khali, who paid $4 to show.
Slim Shadey, the 2.30-1 favorite, never factored throughout, checking in
“He really flew home,” said winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “He was able to lay down the fractions and
that was just what we were looking for.
He still came home in 22 and change and that’s hard to do at a mile and
three eighths. This horse is versatile;
he’s won from one mile to a mile and three eighths, so we have a lot of options
Turbo Compressor, fresh off a win in the Colonial Cup three
weeks ago, earned his seventh victory in 14 starts in the U.N. The $300,000 winner’s share of the purse
boosted his lifetime bankroll to $920,960 for owners P and G Stable & Off
the Hook LLC.
The U.N., a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race, provided
Turbo Compressor with a free pass to the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa
Anita on Nov. 3.
In the Monmouth Cup, WinStar Farm’s Rule, along with Sloane
Ranger, set easy fractions of :25 2/5 for the first quarter of a mile and then
:49 3/5 for the half. Turning for home,
Rule opened a daylight lead before stopping the timer in 1:37.71 for the flat
mile over a fast main track.
“He came out of the gate with running on his mind,” said
Bravo. “I don’t care how long the
layoff, this horse was ready to go the minute the gates opened. He was doing it very easy. Todd had him ready to run and I just steered
him around the track.”
Rule, who broke from the outside post, paid $7.40, $3.20 and
$2.80 as the third choice in the field of five colts and geldings. Flat Out, who paid $2.80 and $2.20, was
caught down on the fence for most of the trip, angled out in the stretch and
rallied to complete the $16.20 exacta.
It was another neck back to Sloane Ranger, who paid $3.80 to show.
A 5-year-old horse by Haskell winner Roman Ruler out of the
Personal Flag mare Rockside, Rule was making his first start since last
October. From 16 starts, he sports a
record of 6-2-5, good for earnings of $1,139,700.