News & Barn notes

Therapist Gives Owner Dubb Third Straight Win In Grade 1 United Nations On Saturday’s Haskell Stakes Undercard

July 22, 2023

The third time was more than the charm for owner Michael Dubb, who won the $600,000, Grade 1 United Nations Stakes on Saturday’s Haskell Stakes Day undercard at Monmouth Park when Therapist rallied from far back and kicked clear through the lane under strong urging from jockey Javier Castellano.

The 8-year-old Therapist, whom Dubb claimed for $50,000 in January, rewarded the confidence of his owner and trainer Mike Maker with his second graded stakes win and first top-level score since coming into the barn. He covered the 1 3/8 miles on a firm turf course in 2:14.50 to defeat eight rivals.

Catnip, the 6-5 favorite, was 1½ lengths behind in second. Red Knight, also trained by Maker, was three-quarters of a length back in third.

“I followed this horse throughout his career,” said Dubb, who won the last two editions of the United Nations with Adhamo and Tribhuvan. “I knew the ability he had and that’s why I claimed him. When he got a little older they put him in claiming races, so we tried to claim him for $25,000 and got out-shook.

“When they put him back in for $50,000, I knew he was worth that and quite a bit more. This (the United Nations distance) is Mike Maker’s sweet spot. When we got him, the horse hadn’t been racing this long and I asked Mike why he wanted to go this long. He said he saw it in the breeding.

“I wasn’t here for the first two (Adhamo in 2022 and Tribhuvan in 2021). I had not been here for the other two and didn’t want to jinx it today. I got lucky when I came today. It’s amazing to win this race three years in a row.”

Therapist is a gelded son of Freud out of Lady Renaissance and was bred in New York by Oak Bluff Stable and Christophe Clement. By winning the 70th running of the United Nations Therapist became a millionaire, boosting his earnings to $1,605,815 with the $612,000 top share of the purse.

Therapist improved his record to 13-5-8 in 42 lifetime efforts. Sent off at $12.30-1 he returned $26.60.

In other stakes races on the Haskell undercard:

Shotgun Hottie ran down her competition and blasted to lead inside the eighth pole to take the 77th running of the Grade 3, $500,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes.

Le Da Vida was another ½-length back and Search Party, the 9-10 favorite, could do no better than third, three-quarters of a length back.

Trained by Cherie DeVaux and ridden by Paco Lopez, Monmouth Park’s leading rider, the 4-year-old daughter of Gun Runner traveled the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track to finish in 1:43.43 in the field of seven fillies and mares.

Shotgun Hottie, who won the Ladies Secret Stakes here in her last start and was third two starts back in the Serena’s Song, paid $18.40 to win.

“Paco looked like he had a lot of horse throughout the race and when he ranged up on the backside it then was just a matter of sustaining that run,” said DeVaux. “She did sustain her run and I’m just really proud of her. I left her here (after she won the Lady’s Secret on June 10) under the care of (trainer) Dan Ward.

“She’s been working over this track and has a lot of experience on the track. She’s run two races prior here and she’s just improving each subsequent week.”

In the Grade 3, $400,000 Monmouth Cup, Godolphin’s homebred Proxy demonstrated his class while exhibiting a new running style to take the 45th edition of the as the heavy favorite under jockey Joel Rosario.

“He really showed some guts,” said winning trainer Michael Stidham. “He’s never been on the lead in his life. He’s laid close early on in his career so we knew he could be close and still finish. But he was never on the lead so I didn’t know what to think.

“I was hoping for the best, and then when they hooked him at the three-sixteenths pole, I thought, `Oh boy. here we go.’ Then he dug in and class came through in the end.”

Proxy took command early and then covered the 1 1/8 miles over the fast track in 1:49.99 to finish 2½ lengths ahead of Whelen Springs, who crossed the wire 4¾ lengths ahead of Calibrate.

Proxy, a 5-year-old son of Tapit, returned $2.80 as the favorite in the field of seven. Godolphin bloodstock manager Michael Banahan said he will be pointed to the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga.

In the $300,000, Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes favored Consumer Spending rallied from off the slow pace for her second straight graded stakes win at Monmouth Park, and in the process gave trainer Chad Brown his fourth consecutive Matchmaker victory and seventh overall win in the last nine editions.

Ridden patiently by Joel Rosario, the Klaravich Stables color bearer utilized her patented powerful late kick to prevail by a half-length over Surprisingly while Gam’s Mission was another 2¾ lengths back in third.

Consumer Spending, a 4-year-old daughter of More Than Ready who won the Grade 3 Eatontown Stakes in her last, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48-flat over the firm turf while besting six other fillies and mares.

Consumer Spending returned $4 to win and improved her career record to 6-2-1 from 11 starts while upping her bankroll to $737,000.

In the $100,000 Wolf Hill Stakes Charlie Matses’ homebred Alogon ran down the leaders in the lane to score the upset win with Abner Adorno in the irons.

Trained by Ned Allard, Alogon negotiated the 5½ furlongs on a firm turf course in 1:01.73. Witty was second by a half-length and Mid Day Image finished third, another neck back.

Alagon, a 10-year-old gelded son of California Chrome, returned $23.10 to win.


Story by Lynne Snierson

Monmouth Park publicity staff