Little Mike, a six-time graded stakes winner and victor of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Turf Classic is getting ready for the Grade 1 $500,000 United Nations Stakes, says Carlo Vaccarezza breeder of Little Mike, who runs under the colors of his wife Priscilla. Little Mike is coming off of a trip to Dubai where he competed in two Group 1 events at Meydan Racecourse, finishing 8th in the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 (March 9) and 11th in the Dubai Duty Free (March 30).
“He didn't like the Tapeta too much in the first race,” said Vaccarezza. “In the second race he sprained his ankle. We got him back to the barn and his ankle was like a watermelon. We gave him some time to heal and he's looking good. We breezed him at Churchill (June 11) and he is feeling himself again.”
Little Mike breezed four furlongs over Churchill's turf course in :50 4/5 on June 11, and breezed five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 along the main track on June 19.
A 6-year-old gelding by Spanish Steps out of the Wavering Wench dam Hay Jude, Little Mike has won 12 of 23 career races, good for $3,074,412 in lifetime earnings, and Vaccarezza believes that Little Mike can increase that number in the UN, which is set for a mile and three eighths on the turf at Monmouth on Saturday, July 6.
“He really likes Monmouth,” said Vaccarezza. “He won a few races on the turf earlier in his career over there so it should be an easy transition for him. It's a really prestigious race, the UN. I used to watch it growing up in New York every year so we really want this one for Mike and for his fans.”
Jockey Joel Rosario will ride Little Mike in this year's 62nd renewal of the United Nations Stakes.
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