07/01/2005 11:00PM

Better Talk Now rallies to U.N. victory

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Better Talk Now (right) wins the United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park on Saturday. Second was Silverfoot (left) and third was Request For Parole (center).

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Better Talk Now rallied up the rail with an explosive move to win the $750,000 Saturday at Monmouth Park.

The winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Turf, Better Talk Now posted his second win in three starts this season and got his third Grade 1 victory.

Trainer Graham Motion, concerned that Better Talk Now was compromised by a lack of pace last time out in the Dixie Stakes at Pimlico, also entered Shake the Bank as a rabbit.

The strategy worked to perfection.

Shake the Bank, with Tommy Turner aboard, opened up a huge lead on the soft course. The rabbit was some 20 lengths ahead on the second run down the backstretch.

Shake the Bank started to fade on the final turn, throwing the race into a wide-open scramble.

Silverfoot moved first and snared the lead. Better Talk Now, ridden by Ramon Dominguez who had survived a tough spill at Delaware Park earlier in the week, started to angle outside before darting inside to the wide-open rail.

"I don't know how much the rabbit helped us," Dominguez said. "In the second quarter I could feel my horse was picking it up and getting stronger. In the Dixie, it seemed the fractions got slower and it was impossible to finish up with a closer like him."

Better Talk Now ($6.40) ran the 1 3/8 miles in 2:20.57 and prevailed by three-quarters of a length.

Silverfoot, winner of the last two Louisville Handicaps at Churchill Downs, was second, with Request for Parole, last year's U.N. winner, third.

This was Better Talk Now's first race at Monmouth since he finished second in the Battlefield Stakes last summer.

The Grade 1 United Nations, the second-richest race in New Jersey after the $1 million Haskell Invitational, was a longtime fixture at Atlantic City Race Course. It shifted to Monmouth in 1999.

Skip Away: Cherokee's Boy takes it

Cherokee's Boy got a perfect stalking trip from Joe Bravo to win the $70,000 Skip Away Stakes.

Cherokee's Boy ($6) closely tracked the pacesetting Ricardo A and put that rival away an eighth of mile from the finish. Cherokee's Boy went on to a 1 3/4-length victory over the odds-on favorite, Aggadan, who rallied between horses in deep stretch.

Cherokee Spook was third.

Cherokee's Boy ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.40.