Four high-quality turf performers will get together in the $750,000 United Nations Handicap today at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.
English Channel, a winner of seven of 12 on grass, Cacique and Relaxed Gesture, who finished one-two in the Manhattan Handicap on June 10 at Belmont Park and Better Talk Now, the winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Turf, head a field of seven in the Grade I at 1 3/8 miles. Owned by Bushwood Racing Partners and trained by Graham Motion, Better Talk Now, a 7-year-old Talkin Man gelding, is the United Nations' defending champion. He won by three-quarters of a length a year ago as the 2-1 favorite. Regular rider Ramon Dominguez has the call on Better Talk Now, who enters off a victory in the Dixie, a Grade II, on May 20 at Pimlico.
The three other entrants in the United Nations, part of a $100,000 guaranteed pick four, are Silverfoot, second in the race in 2005, Shake The Bank and Ramazutti.
Race of the day: Toupie, who finished next to last in the CashCall Mile a week ago, will try for the fourth time to earn her first U.S. win in the $65,000 Redondo Beach at Hollywood Park. Tyler Baze will ride the 4-year-old Intikhab filly for owner Javier Gispert and trainer Beau Greely in the one mile turf race that is the ninth on the card. The Redondo Beach, part of a pick six with a guaranteed pool of $500,000, drew eight other fillies and mares.
One for the road: Kingofthenight should improve with the return to grass in his second race for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. and can break his maiden in the seventh today at Belmont Park. Garrett Gomez will ride the 4-year-old Royal Academy colt for Grosse Pointe Farm in the $43,000 race at six furlongs.
Exotically speaking: A pick three using Racy Ack and Quiet Genius in the sixth; Charbonnier in the seventh; and McNasty, Catouttathebag and Mom Is Ready in the eighth.
Winners (through Thursday): (previous day/meet total): 2/125. Money: (previous day/meet total): $8.80/$760. Total money bet: $926.