United Battles Back From Wide Trip To Defend John Henry Turf Championship Title

Decorated 6-year-old gelding United didn’t get the easiest trip in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 2, but he prevailed all the same, clinching his second edition of the stakes race. United and rider Flavien Prat were shuffled back in the early going on the downhill turf course, and settled near the back of the field on the first trip past the stands as Acclimate and Neptune’s Storm controlled the pace. Prat kept United off the rail and quietly passed a few horses before taking a breather on the backstretch. The pair made their move even before the final turn, swinging wide and picking off rivals, charging just in time to catch Acclimate and to just top Friar’s Road, who was putting in a last-to-first effort.

The final time for the 1 1/4 miles was 1:58.41, with fractional times of :22.70, :46.32, 1:11.42, and 1:35.01. Acclimate held on for second over Friar’s Road.

United went off the favorite at odds of 7-5 and paid $4.80, $3.40, and $2.40.

The Richard Mandella trainee came to the race off a fourth place finish in the G2 Del Mar Handicap, where Acclimate just nosed him off the board. His credits from this year include wins in the G2 Eddie Read and G3 San Luis Rey. Last year, he won or finished second in five of six starts, collecting four graded victories but finishing a disappointing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

The race was he fourth win on the card for Prat, and the second for Mandella and owner LNJ Foxwoods.

United was bred in Kentucky by Rosemont Farm. He is the son of Giant’s Causeway and Pulling Punches mare Indy Punches. As a weanling, he sold for $240,000 at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, where he was consigned by Trackside Farm and purchased by Glencrest Farm. He went on to the Saratoga Selected Yearling Sale the next year, where he raised $300,000 from purchaser Solis/Litt and was presented by Four Star Sales.

The post United Battles Back From Wide Trip To Defend John Henry Turf Championship Title appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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