United Nations S. (gr. I)
(gr. IT , 11f ,)
Smart Strike Belva , by Theatrical (IRE)
BKeene Ridge Farm, KY.; OJames T. Scatuorchio; TTodd A. Pletcher
(DK B/ h,
Danehill Hasili (IRE) , by Kahyasi (IRE)
BJuddmonte Farms Inc, IRE.; OJuddmonte Farms, Inc.; TRobert J. Frankel
Relaxed Gesture (IRE)
Indian Ridge (IRE) Token Gesture (IRE) , by Alzao
BMoyglare Stud Farm, Ltd., IRE.; OMoyglare Stud Farm, Ltd.; TChristophe Clement
In the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT), English Channel successfully sought revenge on Irish-bred Cacique, who bested him in his last start. Though English Channel finished a close-up fourth behind Cacique in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont in June, it was quite a different story at the former mentioned race at Monmouth Park July 8.
In all his coast-to-coast travels, English Channel had never visited the New Jersey track, but perhaps the pressure of unfamiliar territory worked on his behalf in the United Nations, where he denied Cacique his second straight grade I title by a half-length.
English Channel launched his 4-year-old campaign with a Canadian Turf Handicap victory at Gulfstream Park, after which he bested an international field of older males in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT) on Kentucky Derby day at Churchill Downs. He has recorded three other stakes victories since breaking his maiden at two, including the grade III Virginia Derby last year on the Colonial Downs grass.
English Channel is nearing the $2-million mark for trainer Todd Pletcher and owner James Scatuorchio, who found a bargain when he paid $50,000 for the son of Smart Strike at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale from the consignment of Eaton Sales, agent.
In addition to English Channel, Scatuorchio is represented by earlier grade I winner More Than Ready, who captured the 2000 King Bishop Stakes at Saratoga, and three other graded stakes winners, including 2006 added-money winners Ready’s Gal and Ready to Please.
Bred by Ann McBrayer’s Keene Ridge Farm near Lexington, English Channel is out of the unraced Theatrical mare, Belva. While Theatrical was a champion grass horse in the U.S., English Channel’s second dam, Committed, was a champion sprinter in England and earned titles as miler and older mare in France.
Belva also produced Sedgefield, a 2-year-old full brother to English Channel, who was purchased for $300,000 this year by Silverton Hill from the consignment of Kirkwood Stables, agent, at the Keeneland April 2-year-old sale. Belva has a yearling filly by Street Cry and delivered a filly by Aldebaran April 26.
In foal to Ghostzapper on a May 20 cover, Belva will be offered at this year’s Keeneland November mixed sale.
Smart Strike is the sire of 40 stakes winners, including other 2006 added-money winners Chin High (gr. IIIT), Tungsten Strike (Eng-II), Strike Softly, winner of the Ontario Damsel Stakes at Woodbine July 9, Fabulous Strike, Don’t Strike Out, and Hope’n’charity (in England). Smart Strike stands for $50,000 at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky.—E.M.