Manhattan H. (gr. I)

(gr. IT , 10f ,)

BETTER TALK NOW (DK B/ g, 120 lb) $240,000
Talkin Man —Bendita , by Baldski
B—Wimborne Farm, Inc., KY.; O—Bushwood Stables LLC; T—H. Graham Motion

English Channel (CH h, 122 lb) $80,000
Smart Strike —Belva , by Theatrical (IRE)
B—Keene Ridge Farm, KY.; O—James T. Scatuorchio; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Shakis (IRE) (DK B/ h, 116 lb) $40,000
Machiavellian —Tawaaded (IRE) , by Nashwan
B—Shadwell Estate Co., Ltd., IRE.; O—Shadwell Stable; T—Kiaran P. McLaughlin

Margins: head, nose, ½. Others: Cosmonaut 117($20,000) , Red Zipper 115($12,000) , Minister's Joy 115($2,667) , Kiss the Kid 116($2,667) , Steppenwolfer 116($2,666) . Winning Jockey, Ramon A. Dominguez.

Better Talk Now’s narrow victory over favored English Channel in the June 9 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park was the 8-year-old gelding’s first triumph since taking the Sky Classic Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine last September. It also was Better Talk Now’s first grade I win since he scored in the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont in September 2005. Other grade I races won by the grass specialist are the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf and Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes in 2004 and the United Nations Stakes in 2005.

In the Manhattan, Better Talk Now settled in seventh behind a slow early pace of :25.30 for the first quarter mile and :50.58 for the half before rallying on the inside. He defeated English Channel by a head. In his only other race this year, Better Talk Now finished fourth in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs May 5.

Owned by Bushwood Stables, Better Talk Now was bred in Kentucky by Wimborne Farm. He carried the Wimborne colors in the first five races of his career.

Better Talk Now descends from the Ocarina mare Mandolina. The third dam of the Manhattan winner, Mandolina captured the Prix de Minerve in France in 1959 and also finished second in the Prix de la Nonette the same year. Folle Nuit (by Astrophel), Better Talk Now’s fourth dam, won the Prix Penelope and PrixVermeille in France in 1943 and the Prix du Prince d’Orange in 1944. Folle Nuit’s stakes-winning progeny, in addition to Mandolina, were Hidalgo (by Caldarium), Negresco (by Sica Boy), and Nuit de Folies (by Tornado). Negresco was a leading sire and leading broodmare sire in Poland. He also was among the top sires in Norway.

Talkin Man is the sire of Better Talk Now and additional stakes winners Talk Back and Aspen Gal. Last reported to be standing in Ireland at Michael Shefflin’s Annshoon Stud, Talkin Man was a champion in Canada in 1994. He captured the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. II) and Gotham Stakes (gr. II) in 1995.—D.B.B.