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Cement Clement Goes For Upset In Sunday's United Nations

Friday, July 1, 2016

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Cement Clement looks for his first graded stakes win as he takes on nine rivals in Sunday’s Grade 1, $300,000 United Nations Stakes, going a mile and three-eighths on the Monmouth turf.

            “He has been doing good,” said trainer Tony Wilson, who conditions the horse for Pat and Ron Scorese. “He didn’t take to the dirt too well last race at Delaware, but he got home safe and looks good.”

            The 5-year-old gelding by Limehouse out of the Repriced mare Gouge has worked just once since his last start. He went six furlongs, with the dogs up, over the firm Monmouth turf in 1:19 3/5, the only horse to do so on that day.

            “We were happy with the work,” said Wilson. “We didn’t do too much with him. We used it to get some stamina into him going into the race.”

Prior to his fourth place finish at Delaware Park last time out on June 8, Cement Clement had to battle back after losing the lead at the top of the stretch to score a half-length victory in a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Monmouth on May 28.

Cement Clement’s last stakes race appearance was a third-place finish, just two lengths behind the winner Go Around, in the Tampa Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs on April 9.

            Cement Clement will have to get by multiple graded stakes winners to grab the U.N. title including a trio from Chad Brown’s barn. Brown sends out the top two finishers in the Grade 1 Man o’ War at Belmont Park on May14, Wake Forest and Money Multiplier, as well as Mr Maybe, the winner of the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap on Nov. 14 at Aqueduct.

            Bill Mott brings in last year’s Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes winner Triple Threat, his only try over the Monmouth Park turf.

            World Approval, trained by Mark Casse, exits three straight graded stakes races, the Grade 2 Muniz Memorial Handicap, Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap, finishing no worse than third.

            Jose Ferrer will be aboard Cement Clement for the third straight start.

            “Jose (Ferrer) is an aggressive rider and will be able to get him to the front where he likes to be,” said Wilson.

            The United Nations, the first of Monmouth Park’s two Grade 1’s, along with the betfair.com Haskell Invitational, is set for race 9 on Sunday’s 10-race card. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post set for 12:50 p.m.