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Breeders' Cup 2017

Teaks North Aims for Second U. N. Title

New Monmouth Park logo

Teaks North will return to Monmouth Park to run in the 62nd renewal of the United Nations Stakes on Saturday, a race that he won back in 2011, as the gelding looks to continue his success at Monmouth for trainer Michelle Nevin, where he is a perfect four-for-four over the turf course in Oceanport. 

“He’s certainly done well over the course in the past,” Nevin said. “Hopefully he can get a good run over it again.”

A 6-year-old by Northern Afleet out of Teaksberry Road, Teaks North is coming off of a win in a stakes event at Belmont (May 15), where he crossed the wire a length and three-quarters before the rest of the field. That win brought his earnings up to $1,183,464 in 26 career races as he tries to increase that number in the $500,000 United Nations on Saturday.

Teaks North will face tough competition in the Grade 1 event, including last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Classic winner Little Mike. The field will travel a mile and three eighths on the grass on Saturday, and Nevin believes the tempo of the race will play out with her entrant sitting off the pace. 

“There’s plenty of speed so hopefully he can settle in,” Nevin said. “He doesn’t need to have the lead. He’s come from off the pace before.”

Jockey Eddie Castro will guide Teaks North in the United Nations, the same jockey that rode him to victory in 2011. Although Castro has not been aboard Teaks North in almost two years, Nevin believes that they will continue their joint success on Saturday.

“They’ve been together plenty of times and they’ve done well together,” said Nevin. “They’re a good pair.” 

The United Nations Stakes will go as race 11 on a 12-race card on Saturday.




Bob and the Gang will try stakes company for the first time in the $100,000 Long Branch Stakes on Sunday. Conditioned by Pat McBurney, Bob and the Gang has won his last two races making him two-for-three with a second place finish at Monmouth Park.

On June 1, Bob and the Gang broke his maiden in a six furlong sprint event, and on June 16 he bested the field by two and a quarter lengths going a mile and a sixteenth in 1:42 1/5. Jockey Paco Lopez, who guided Bob and the Gang in each of his last four races, will also be aboard in the Long Branch on Sunday.

“In his last sprint he was finally able to relax,” said McBurney. “We knew we were going to stretch him out. Then in the route he was able to rate, he was nice and relaxed, and he really seemed to like the longer distance.”

Since his last race Bob and the Gang has worked out once, breezing four furlongs in :49 2/5, making him the third fastest of 13 at that distance on June 29.

A 3-year old son of Mizzen Mast, Bob and the Gang will travel a mile and a sixteenth over the main track in the Long Branch on Sunday, and will break from the far outside nine post.

“You never love being that far out,” McBurney said. “I know there’s at least one good speed horse inside. We just hope that no one goes really crazy out of the gate. If not we should be able to set the pace.”

The Long Branch Stakes will go as race 11 on Sunday’s 12-race card.




Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. currently has two entrants, Well Spelled and The Hunk, in Sunday’s $75,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes, but says that it is more than likely that only one of them will compete.

“We probably won’t run them both,” Perkins said. “We’re not sure which one we want to run yet though, we’ll make that decision on race day.”

Well Spelled, last year’s winner of the Jersey Shore Stakes, is coming off of a 10 month layoff, but was victorious in his last race at Parx on Sept. 12, 2012, where he won by a half-length in a stakes event. That win was one of two in his last four outings. Recently, Well Spelled has been training at Monmouth Park, where he worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 handily on June 22, and on June 29 he worked five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 handily from the gate.

A 6-year-old son of Speightstown out of Penniless Heiress, The Hunk has not raced since Oct. 27 of last year, but he is an impressive five-for-nine with three second place finishes at Monmouth Park. In his most recent workout, The Hunk breezed five furlongs in 1:01 from the gate on June 27.    

“They’re both coming off layoffs, but they’re training pretty well,” Perkins said. “They’ve both had some decent breezes. There’s a lot of speed in the race, which might suit Well Spelled a little better, but I didn’t like the one post, so it’s a tough decision.”

Jockeys Pablo Fragoso and Elvis Trujillo are currently scheduled to ride Well Spelled and The Hunk, respectively in the Mr. Prospector Stakes on Sunday.




There will be a t-shirt giveaway this Saturday with all paid admissions as the holiday weekend continues at Monmouth Park. Four stakes events highlight the next two days, including the Grade 1 $500,000 United Nations Stakes on Saturday, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race.

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.





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