A full field of turf specialists, including defending champion Request for Parole and John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner, Better Talk Now, is expected for the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park July 2.The 2004 U.N. was the last victory for Request for Parole, who will be making just his second start of 2005 in this year's 51st renewal of the 1 3/8-mile turf test.In addition to Better Talk Now, who has earned more than $1.8 million and most recently finished fourth in the Dixie (gr. IIT), others seeking to dethrone Request for Parole are Dixie winner Cool Conductor; License to Run, winner of the San Luis Obispo (gr. IIT) last out; Navesink River, victor of Gulfstream's Pan American (gr. IIT) earlier this year; Silverfoot, champion of the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) in his latest; Spruce Run, runner-up in the Red Bank (gr. IIIT) here on May 28; and, Sweet Return, a multiple graded stakes winner, who took the Charlie Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT) on June 11.
Those considered possible for the U.N. include Artie Schiller, a multiple graded stakes winner and third last out in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT); Boastful, victor of the B.G. Smith Memorial at Suffolk Downs in 2003; Capitano, Rolling Green Breeders' Cup Handicap winner on June 4 at Golden Gate Fields; Manhattan winner Good Reward; and, Manhattan runner-up Relaxed Gesture.