07/04/2014 1:18PM

Side Glance needs to work out good trip in United Nations

Neville Hopwood
Side Glance must avoid getting shuffled too far back early breaking from post 10 in the United Nations.

OCEANPORT, N.J. – The well-traveled Side Glance adds an international flavor to the Grade 1, $500,000 United Nations Stakes on Sunday as the holiday weekend concludes at Monmouth Park.

And it ends with a bang.

The U.N. and the Grade 3 Salvator Mile top a solid 12-race card that begins at 12:50 p.m. Eastern.

The two stakes are the kickoff events of the “Jockey Club Tour on Fox” that will air on Fox Sports 1 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The U.N., the premier turf race in New Jersey, is also a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, guaranteeing the victor a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf this fall at Santa Anita.

Side Glance drew the outside slot, post 10, in the 1 3/8-mile race around three turns.

The 7-year-old Side Glance, winner of more than $2.4 million, has competed in Britain, Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

[United Nations Stakes: Get PPs, watch Sunday's card live]

He was third in last year’s Arlington Million and ran fourth in the last two editions of the Dubai World Cup over the synthetic track at Meydan.

Side Glance, based in England with trainer Andrew Balding, will look to rebound from a ninth-place finish in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

Regular rider Jamie Spencer will be aboard.

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Side Glance got acquainted with the Monmouth course for the first time on Friday morning with a one-mile gallop.

The Monmouth turf stretch is shorter than many of the courses Side Glance usually encounters. That will impact the strategy, especially with an outside break.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 10 Side Glance. Trainer Andrew Balding is without a winner in six North American starts over the past five years, including three starts from this runner.Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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“We don’t want to get shuffled back too far because the straight is very short,” said assistant trainer Leanne Masterton. “I would hope he’ll be up in the first half of the field for the first five furlongs.”

Todd Pletcher, a three-time U.N. winner, sends out the uncoupled duo of Charming Kitten and Winning Cause.

Joe Bravo, winner of the last two U.N. renewals, rides Charming Kitten who has no distance limitations based on his victory in the two-mile Belmont Gold Cup.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 1 Charming Kitten. Trainer Todd Pletcher is only 2 for 25 ($1.83 ROI) over the past five years on turf in graded stakes at a distance of at least 11 furlongs.Click for more details. Mike Hogan

Winning Cause was third most recently in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes, the local U.N. prep.

Kaigun, who hasn’t gotten much parimutuel support lately, could be the value play in the field.

The 4-year-old Kaigun, trained by Mark Casse, joins Side Glance as the only horses to have competed in Grade 1 stakes in their three previous outings.

Kaigun has made great strides since being gelded last summer.

He lost by a combined 2 1/4 lengths to two-time defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Markers’ Mark Mile and the Churchill Downs Turf Classic.

He was a dead-game second most recently in the oddly run $1 million Manhattan on the Belmont Stakes undercard where Kaigun, and regular pilot Alan Garcia, were laying second while Five Iron opened up a lead of some 12 lengths.

“That was a strange race because Alan put him in a drive at the half-mile pole and I thought ‘This doesn’t look good.’

“But he hung in there and never gave up. We got a nice second-place purse, he came back fine, and we’re ready to fire again,” Casse said.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 5 Main Sequence. Trainer Graham Motion is 7 for 18 with a $4.32 ROI over the past five years with horses making their first North American start in turf routes after layoffs of at least 180 days.Click for more details. Mike Hogan

‘Luckyday’ amped for Salvator

After Itsmyluckyday won Monmouth’s Majestic Light Stakes in late May, trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. considered wheeling the 4-year-old back to face Palace Malice in the Metropolitan Handicap on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

Plesa opted to give Itsmyluckyday some additional time. Four steady breezes later on his home track, a well-rested Itsmyluckyday is the horse to beat in the $150,000 Salvator Mile.

“He is anxiously awaiting Sunday,” Plesa said. “We can hardly keep his feet on the ground.”

And there are no regrets about passing on the Met Mile.

“Palace Malice won the race and he looks to be on top of the handicap division,” Plesa said. “If we keep going the way we’re going, we’ll meet up sooner or later.

“He [Palace Malice] wasn’t a deterrent to us. It was more of a time factor. I couldn’t be more pleased with how our horse is coming into the race Sunday.”

The Majestic Light was the second straight victory in the comeback from the pelvic fracture Itsmyluckyday suffered here last summer in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 7 Itsmyluckyday. Trainer Edward Plesa Jr. is 1 for 20 with a $0.56 ROI over the past five years in graded stakes with runners coming off a winning effort.Click for more details. Mike Hogan

The Salvator field includes Bradester, winner of the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds, and Raging Daoust, winner of last year’s Salvator in a 33-1 upset.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 10 Valid. Trainer Marcus Vitali and jockey Orlando Bocachica have combined for 4 wins in 11 starts and a $3.76 ROI in Monmouth dirt routes over the past three months.Click for more details. Mike Hogan