Irish-bred Chinchon, making just his second start in the U.S., showed an explosive turn of foot in the stretch and came from off the pace to capture the $760,000 Betfair/TVG United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) by 1 1/2 lengths July 3 at Monmouth Park (VIDEO).
Chinchon, based in France for trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias, made his only other start in this country last summer in the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont when finishing fourth. The 5-year-old son of Marju won for the second time in four starts this season. He is owned by Darpat S. L. Stables.
With Garrett Gomez aboard, Chinchon was last in a field of nine after a mile in the 1 3/8-mile United Nations, as local hope Get Serious took his rivals through splits of :23.37, :47.62, :1:12.71, and 1:36.41 and carried a half-length lead into the stretch. Straight Story and Telling, never far back were both in contention at the top of the lane, as were grade I winners Take the Points and Acclamation.
But Chinchon was swung five-wide by Gomez to put himself in contention approaching the quarter pole in a bold move. Take the Points finally made the lead in deep stretch, but Chinchon had too much momentum and won going away. The final time over the firm turf course was 2:11.77.
Take the Points, the 5-2 favorite, finished second, a half-length in front of Winchester. Straight Story was fourth.
“I squeezed him a little at the quarter pole and started advancing up the inside; I didn’t want to have to swing widest for the drive,” said Gomez. “Just after we turned for home I took him to the outside and he really exploded. He flew home.”
Chinchon went over the $1 million mark in earnings with his victory, as the $450,000 winner’s share boosted his bankroll to $1,005,200. He also earned an automatic starting berth in the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) to be run at Churchill Downs Nov. 6.
Earlier this year, Chinchon won the Prix Exbury (Fr-III) at Saint-Cloud in his season debut. Overall, he is 5-3-4 from 19 starts.
"I was pretty nervous halfway through the race with how slow the early pace was because I knew it would be tough for him to close," said Laffon-Parias. "This horse doesn’t care about the type of ground he’s running on, he just runs. He doesn’t like to be in between horses though.
“Now we will give him a break back home in Europe. He’s run four times now and deserves a break. We will bring him back again later in the year, maybe in October, or (for) the Breeders’ Cup. There’s also a race at Hong Kong later in the year. If we do decide to go to the Breeders’ Cup, we’ll give him a prep in Europe.”
The winner, bred by Zubieta Limited and out of the Hector Protector mare Jarama, paid $9.60, $4.80, and $3.40 as the third choice. The exacta (8-7) returned $39.20 and the trifecta (8-7-5) was $56.10 for $1.
Get Serious was fifth, followed by Telling, Laureate Conductor, Jeune-Turc, and Acclamation.