Smooth Escape for 'Parole in United Nations

Smooth Escape for 'Parole in United Nations
Photo: AP/Equi-Photo, Ryan McAlinden
Request for Parole breaks away for United Nations win.
Request for Parole, a horse plagued by traffic problems in his recent races, had no such difficulties Saturday with hot-riding Edgar Prado in the irons, winning the $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.

The 5-year-old son of Judge T CMadison's Quest (Deputy Minister) went over the $1 million mark in career earnings for owners Jeri and Sam Knighton in his 30th start, nine of them victories. This was his first grade I triumph for trainer Stanley Hough.

Prado chose to go to New Jersey and ride Request for Parole instead of partnering Peace Rules, the winner of the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) earlier Saturday at Belmont Park. Prado, who last rode the winner in a classified allowance at Saratoga Aug. 30, guided Request for Parole along the inside while stalking the pace, eased out three wide coming out of the final turn and rallied powerfully through the stretch.

``We were really happy with post two because the starting gate is so close to the first turn,'' Hough said. ``He really had a great trip today and usually in races like this the horse with the best trip gets the win.''

They caught Nothing to Lose inside the final furlong and dueled from there with Mr O'Brien and Ramon Dominguez, who got through on the hedge. Request for Parole prevailed in a determined drive by a half-length. Mr O'Brien closed evenly with the winner after finding room between horses but was outfinished.

``He broke beautifully, and I put him where he was comfortable the whole way,'' Prado said. ``We were able to sit on the inside all the way until we turned for home. I was a little concerned when the leaders opened up by a few lengths, but when I got my horse clear, he really took off. ``

Nothing to Lose, who had a slight lead approaching the quarter pole, was another three-quarters of length behind, holding on for third by a length with Megantic fourth. The final time was 2:13 for the 1 3/8-mile United Nations.

Hard Buck was fifth, giving chase off the rail and finishing evenly. Balto Star, the pacesetter through fractions of :48 3/5 and 1:14, faded to sixth. Meteor Storm, the slight 5-2 favorite over Mr O'Brien, was caught wide throughout and tired, finishing seventh in the field of 11. In Hand, Caltechol, Final Prophecy and Bowman Mill trailed. Better Talk Now scratched.

Request for Parole had lost his last three races and was steadied in traffic in four of his last five outings. He had a troubled while finishing fifth, beaten by 2 3/4 lengths, in his most recent effort, the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont June 5, which was won by Meteor Storm. The Kentucky bred has won three of six in 2004, including the Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 25.

The $450,000 winning purse brought Request for Parole's career total to $1,053,392.

He paid $11.40, $5 and $4. Mr O'Brien returned $4.60 and $3.60. Nothing to Lose, ridden by Richard Migliore, was $7.20 to show. The exacta was worth $49.20.

(Chart, Equibase)

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