The Brock Talk

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Presious Passion Sprints To Record UN

When I wrote a few Friday that the United Nations Stakes was going to be perhaps the most fun race to watch, quite frankly I was expecting a typical, grade 1 turf race, stampede-style charge to the final strides type race. But what we got was more entertaining and exciting and it included only one horse.

Presious Passion (photo) was looking for his second consecutive UN victory and was expected to race on the front end. He went to the front all right - like his tail was on fire. Jockey Eddie Trujillo let Presious Passion sprint away as though he had forgotton the extra lap of the 1-3/8 mile race as he led the field by as many as 20 lengths while covering the first 6 furlongs in an irrationally fast 1:09.1.

But my laughing slowed significantly when I noticed how relaxed Trujillo and Presious Passion looked while galloping along a half-mile from the finish. Just as they raced around the far turn, the field began to close the gap and Lauro and Brass Hat appeared to about to pounce when Presious Passion continued to race at a pace that made the crazy 20-length lead a two-length victory. And the final time was as stunning as each of the fractional times before it, as the 6-year-old shattered the stakes record by almost two full seconds with a final time of 2:10.97.

The $750,000 United Nations carries a "Win And Your In" tag meaning Presious Passion qualifies again for the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Nov. 6 and 7. Last year, owner Patricia Generazio and trainer Mary Hartmann opted not to run in the Breeders' Cup.

In the biggest Roswell reunion this weekend outside of the annual UFO Festival (photo), jockey Mike Smith has given a commitment to ride Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird for the next two races trainer Chip Woolley announced at Churchill Downs Saturday.

Smith gets the return mount after opting off Mine That Bird following a second in the Preakness because of a possible confict with his clients Jerry and Jan Moss, owners of Horse Of The Year candidate Zenyatta. Borel got back on MTB for the Belmont, finished third, then left for Warrior's Reward and his loyalty to trainer Ian Wilkes.

The "Mine That Bird and his Disloyal Jockeys" saga continues however, as Smith would only commit to the West Virginia Derby Aug. 1 and the $1 million Shadwell Travers Stakes Aug. 29 at Saratoga and not the Breeders' Cup Classic. The circle completes again with Zenyatta being a possible for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Our Sunny's Halo fans had another big day Friday when his son Backtalk became the stallion's first graded stakes winner in the United States by taking the grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs. Flatter Than Me was second and Brassy Boy was third while continuing to outrun his expectations. Something tells me the little Arkansas-bred Brassy Boy will be a horse to watch out of the Hal Wiggins barn.

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