06/29/2012 2:24PM

Monmouth: California filly Quaintly uncertain for United Nations

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Benoit & Associates
Quaintly (right), third in last weekend's Beverly Hills Handicap behind Capital Plan (center), would have to face males if she ships from California for the July 7 United Nations at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Trainer Patrick Biancone says the filly Quaintly is “50-50” to run in the Grade 1, $500,000 United Nations Stakes.

Dan Dufford, Monmouth Park’s stakes coordinator, is banking on the odds being higher than that.

Dufford is in the process of rounding up runners for meet’s premier turf race on July 7. So far, it has been a slow process for the 1 3/8-mile stakes.

Dufford is counting on Quaintly and Eldaafer, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, to make the U.N. He lists Slim Shadey as a possible entrant.

Dufford hopes to get a runner from Todd Pletcher, who nominated four (Hudson Steele, Queen’splatekitten, Slow Pace, and Turbo Compressor) and one from Shug McGaughey’s trio (Air Support, Boisterous, and Imagining).

And that could be it.

Biancone has a flight booked Monday to bring Quaintly here from California. Whether she actually boards the plane depends on how she works this weekend.

“The Monmouth racing office suggested the race and we’re trying to give her some more black type,” Biancone said. “If she’s perfect, she’ll take the plane. When you run them a bit quickly you need to make sure everything is all right.”

A 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway, Quaintly began her career in Ireland before joining Biancone’s barn this season. She has run three times in the U.S. and hit the board every time.

Most recently, Quaintly was the leader in the paceless Grade 3 Beverly Hills Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 24. She held on for third, beaten only a half-length.

“It wasn’t much of a race because they were going so slow,” Biancone said. “She had to go in front. That was not her style. They just sprinted the last three-eighths, and she is not a sprinter.”

Royal Currier recovering from ailment

Royal Currier developed a mysterious back ailment that knocked him out of the Don LeVine Memorial Stakes last weekend at Parx Racing.

Mike Farro, who handles the Monmouth division for wife, Patricia, said he believes the problem was a pinched nerve or a muscle spasm. While the precise diagnosis may never be known, Farro is grateful to see the horse on the mend.

“Thank God he’s all right, because it looked pretty scary,” Farro said. “He could hardly walk. We did a lot of work on him, including blood work and acupuncture, but couldn’t find anything serious.”

Every day, the 4-year-old former claimer turned stakes winner continues to make progress, Faro said.

“He’s a good patient and he looked so sad when it happened,” Farro said. “I gave him an alcohol bath that day and he didn’t even move. He was so sore. The next day he was back to biting and kicking, which was a great sign.”

Assuming the recovery continues, Farro is pointing Royal Currier for Monmouth’s Mr Prospector Stakes on July 8.

“It all depends if we get a workout before that,” Farro said. “I can’t say that’s going to happen.”

Ponzi Scheme targets Monmouth Cup

In hindsight, Ponzi Scheme probably should have skipped the LeVine as well.

The winner of the Decathlon Stakes here on opening day, he broke well in the LeVine before fading badly.

“We had three days when it was very hot,” said trainer Juan Serey. “We never thought it would hurt the horse but it did. That was not him. That weather really killed him. Now he’s doing terrific again.”

So well that Serey is planning to run Ponzi Scheme in the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Cup at one mile on July 7.

“Now he’ll be back home and we don’t have to travel,” Serey said. “And he really likes this track.”