09/07/2005 11:00PM

Rabbit rejoins Better Talk Now


ELMONT, N.Y. - Better Talk Now had a little help from a friend in winning the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes this summer at Monmouth Park.

Trainer H. Graham Motion employed Shake the Bank as a rabbit to set the stage for Better Talk Now's rally.

Better Talk Now and Shake the Bank are back together again and will try to double-team nine rivals in the Grade 1, $500,000 Man o' War Stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.

The strategy for the stablemates is clear. Shake the Bank will be out winging early in the 1 3/8-mile race. Better Talk Now, last year's Breeders' Cup Turf winner, will come charging through the lane.

In the U.N., ran away from the field and opened a 15-length lead with Tommy Turner aboard.

The game plan remains the same Saturday with Turner getting the return call.

"Turner rode him beautifully," Motion said. "It was a very professional effort. He understands the strategy."

, running without a rabbit last time out in the Grade 1 Arlington Million, made a big run to get close before settling for fourth.

The presence of the rabbit could also impact , who captured the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga last time out for trainer Bobby Frankel.

King's Drama and Relaxed Gesture waged a fierce front-end battle throughout the 1 1/2-mile Sword Dancer with King's Drama prevailing by a half-length.

Christophe Clement, Relaxed Gesture's trainer, welcomed the addition of Shake the Bank. The rabbit will let his horse settle in stalking range.

"Last time we changed tactics because I didn't want Frankel to steal the race on the lead," Clement said. "Frankel won the race, but he did not steal the race. This time there should be plenty of pace. King's Drama is running back and Motion's got a pacemaker.''

will try to snap a streak of three straight seconds that includes Belmont's Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap.

Angara adds another Grade 1 winner to the lineup. She captured the Beverly D. for fillies and mares on the Arlington Million undercard.

- additional reporting by David Grening

The field

Man o' War
Purse: $500,000; 1 3/8 miles, turf; Grade 1

1SwordsmanP. Fragoso12150-1
2AngaraG. Stevens1235-1
3Victory CircleR. Bejarano12650-1
4a-Shake The BankT. Turner1263-1
5a-Better Talk NowR. Dominguez1263-1
6Stage CallM. Smith12630-1
7VangelisE. Prado1268-1
8Rousing VictoryJ. Castellano12620-1
9DreadnaughtJ. Samyn12620-1
10Relaxed GestureC. Nakatani1265-2
11King's DramaJ. Velazquez1262-1

* a-coupled
* Odds by Art Gropper