Barn Notes

Exclusive Strike Horse for the Course in Sunday's U.N.; Itsmyluckyday Ready to Go in Salvator Mile

Posted Saturday, Jul 5, 2014

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Trainer Jason Servis will saddle the 7-year-old gelding Exclusive Strike in this Sunday’s $500,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park, and the conditioner is hoping that his solid record on the Oceanport turf will put him right in the mix in this Grade 1 event.

            “He certainly likes it here,” said Servis, who conditions Exclusive Strike for Mr. Amore Stable.  “We freshened him up over the winter and he came back with a good race.  I know this is much tougher company, but he’s training great and I expect he’ll be running on in the lane.”

            From eight tries over the Monmouth turf, Exclusive Strike sports an impressive five wins and one second.  The son of Smart Strike enters the mile and three-eighths U.N. off a runner-up performance at Belmont on May 24, his first start in over six months.

    “I liked his last race,” Servis said.  “I was happy with it and he’s come out of that real well.  The distance should be no problem for him and we’ll just hope to be there in the end.”

            A Grade 1 placed runner, Exclusive Strike sports a lifetime record of 12-6-9 from 39 starts.  He will get Monmouth leading rider Paco Lopez in the irons on Sunday.

            “He’s got a lot going for him in this spot,” Servis said.  “He likes this course, he’s got the top jockey and he’s coming into well.”

            Listed at 15-1 on the morning line, Exclusive Strike will break from post six in the field of 10.  He will face a familiar rival in the 5-2 morning line favorite Twilight Eclipse, who he was just a half-length behind in finishing third in the 2013 Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont last summer.

            The United Nations, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 as the first race in the Jockey Club on Fox series.  It is slated as the 12th and final race on Sunday’s card.


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