06/28/2013 3:49PM

Monmouth Park: Little Mike on target for United Nations Stakes

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Tom Keyser
Little Mike has not run since finishing 11th in the Dubai Duty Free in March.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Little Mike is on target for the Grade 1, $500,000 United Nations Stakes, the premier turf event at Monmouth Park on July 6.

The upcoming holiday week on the Jersey Shore is loaded with stakes, with the U.N. the main attraction.

It starts with a holiday card on Thursday featuring the Grade 3, $100,000 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs.

Stakes coordinator Dan Dufford lists Rainbow Heir, Hippster, Res Judicata, and Uptown Boy among the probable Jersey Shore runners.

Rainbow Heir is a perfect 3 for 3, including a statebred win here on the opening weekend against older rivals.

“He’s always trained really well,” trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said. “I’ve matched him with different horses and he always fits in. We are excited to get him going.”

The $75,000 Elkwood at one mile on the turf tops the Friday card.

The U.N., the main event on Saturday, is supported by the Grade 3, $150,000 Salvator Mile.

The U.N. is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In stakes for the Turf.

A career winner of more than $3 million, Little Mike also captured the Arlington Million and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs to finish second to Wise Dan in last year’s Eclipse Award voting for champion male turf horse.

He has not run since finishing 11th in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan Racecourse.

Other likely U.N. starters include Big Blue Kitten, Hangover Kid, Skyring, Teaks North, and Willcox Inn.

Big Blue Kitten stormed home to get second in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes, the U.N. prep.

The Hall of Fame team of jockey Gary Stevens and trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who captured the Preakness with Oxbow, take aim at the U.N. with Skyring, the Grade 2 Dixie winner by a half length over Willcox Inn.

Teaks North, winner of the 2011 United Nations, comes off an overnight stakes win at Belmont..

The Salvator might be the coming-out party for Lucy’s Bob Boy, 13 for 16 in a career raced entirely at Charles Town.

Dufford also expects Big Sur, Csaba, Discreet Dancer, and Raging Daoust for the Salvator.

The holiday weekend concludes with the $100,000 Long Branch for 3-year-olds and the $75,000 Mr. Prospector for sprinters.

Bob and the Gang makes his first stakes appearance in the Long Branch, the final local prep for the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 28. The gray colt won his last two races here.

Keep the Canoli was only other committed starter.