Updated on 09/15/2011 12:31PM

Senure the strong choice in U.N.


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Senure, North East Bound, and Honor Glide will meet Sunday in a very evenly matched Grade 1, $500,000 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park.

With Bienamado at the top of the heap in the West, trainer Bobby Frankel is sending Senure to New Jersey in search of Senure's fourth U.S. win and first Grade 1 tally. A 5-year-old son of Nureyev, Senure finished second to Bienamado in the Charlie Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park in his first start of the year.

Senure will carry 116 pounds, one fewer than highweight North East Bound, and be ridden by Robbie Davis. He was listed as an 8-5 favorite in the line by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form's national handicapper. Senure will face seven contenders with wide-ranging credentials in the 48th running of the 1 3/8-mile turf event. This is the third season the race has been run at Monmouth after serving as the showcase event at Atlantic City Racecourse.

North East Bound, runner-up in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Mile, will try to rebound from a disappointing start this year for trainer Bill Perry. He finished behind Captain Steve on dirt in the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park, then bounced back to win the Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland. He tried to stretch out again and faltered in the Dixie Handicap at Pimlico. The U.N. will be the farthest North East Bound has raced. Jose Velez has the mount.

"I think he's turned around from the start of the year," said Perry. "He was dealing with a couple things that we think we've straightened out. We're up against it a bit with the distance, but there's some big races down the line, and we've got to see if he can get the distance."

Christophe Clement will keep the pro tem Eastern division leader, Forbidden Apple, in the barn and instead send Honor Glide, the third-placed finisher in the 2000 U.N. "He's a nice horse, and I know he can stay the distance," said Clement. "Honor Glide last raced in May, and the race comes at a better time for him."

Trainer Bill Mott had two options in King Cugat or Subtle Power to try to defend the U.N. victory he earned last year with Down the Aisle. But instead, Mott elected to skip the U.N. and will point his stars toward the Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont on July 7.

With Anticipation, a winner of two straight in wire-to-wire fashion, including the Louisville Handicap last time, will be a major pace factor, although trainer Jonathan Sheppard said he does not have to be on the lead.

"Actually, the instructions in the last two races have been to stalk the pace, but there hasn't been anyone to stalk," said Sheppard. "The main thing with him is he doesn't like dirt getting kicked in his face. In some of his dirt races, you could actually see skid marks on the track when he would get behind horses. I always wanted to try him on the turf, and I wanted to try something different with him and it's worked out so far. We'll see if he's good enough with grade one horses."

Gritty Sandie will ship in from Belmont after finishing third behind With Anticipation in the Louisville. Local horses Ready To Roll, Arizona Storm, and Moorish Prince complete the field.

for United Nations Handicap Past Performances.

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