UNITED NATIONS STAKES | PURSE: $500,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD & UP | GRADE 1 | 1 3/8 MILES (TURF)
Main Sequence came from well off the pace to win the 63rd running of the $500,000 United Nations Stakes July 6 at Monmouth Park, covering the 1 ⅜ miles in 2:14 ⅕ over a firm course.
The 5-year-old gelding, a Flaxman Holdings homebred by Aldebaran--Ikat, by Privotal, was making his U.S. debut. He had not run since finishing eighth in the QIPCO Champion Stakes last October. Twilight Eclipse was second and pacesetting Side Glance third.
Graham Motion trains Main Sequence, who came into the United Nations with a string of works over the all-weather surface at Fair Hill Training Center including a 1:02 ⅗ move June 28.
"He got quite sick over the winter, so we really waited until he was ready to run," Motion said in the winner's circle. "[Jockey] Ravij [Maragh] did a great job with him. We didn't want him to get to the front too early and he has a tremendous turn of foot.
"Alan Cooper, the racing manger for Flaxman, was really confident in him, so we were hoping for the best," Motion said.
And the best was a score in a Grade 1. He was far back early, biding his time in the three-turn race. Maragh tried to keep him relaxed as Side Glace made his way to the front as the field made their way past the wire the first time. The opening quarter-mile went in :24 ⅘ seconds and half in :49 seconds. Side Glance was tracked by Twilight Eclipse and Kaigun with Manchurian High in the mix.
The six furlongs went in 1:14 ⅗ and the mile in 1:39 ⅖ as the field bunched up heading into the turn. Side Glance was trying the take the field the entire way but was challenged by Main Sequence who was flying on the outside.
"Graham said to get into to a good rhythm and a good flow and take what comes to you naturally," said Maragh. "He's got quite a turn of foot and he didn't quit."
Main Sequence paid $18, $8.60, and $5.60. Twilight Eclipse paid $5 and $3.80. Side Glance returned $4.40 to show. The $2 exacta 5-3 paid $98.40.
Lochte, a 10-1 shot on the morning line, was scratched.
Main Sequence won the Betfred Derby Trial Stakes on the all-weather at Lingfield in April 2012 before running second to Camelot in the Investec Espsom Derby. That year he also placed in the Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes. Last year he made six starts with one second and three thirds. Two of the thirds came in group III company. All of his races since the Derby have been at 1 ¼ miles or longer.
He is the first foal out of Ikat, who was Group 3-placed in France. She is out of the stakes-winning Burning Sunset and is half sister to Group 2 winner Smoking Gun (by Smart Strike) and stakes winner Zhiyi (by Henrythenavigator).