Three Chimneys Farm's Funtastic surprised at 23-1 in Saturday's Grade 1 United Nations Stakes, leading the field of nine from gate-to-wire under Antonio Gallardo. A 4-year-old son of More Than Ready, Funtastic was the longest odds of the four Chad Brown trainees in the race. He held off favored stablemate Money Multiplier by a half-length at the wire, completing 1 3/8 miles over Monmouth Park's firm turf course in 2:12.35.
The United Nations is Gallardo's first Grade 1 victory, and also his third on Saturday's card.
“I knew it was a tough race,” said Brown. “The owner, Goncalo Torrealba, really deserves most of the credit here. He was sure this horse could stay a distance of ground in the mile and an eighth, mile and a half races, in the Grade 1 class. He was doing well and it worked out. Just teamwork and my staff did a fabulous job and Antonio Gallardo rode a wonderful race to take the initiative out of the gate. He used his horse a little bit early to get that position and then he backed it down just enough to carry him all of the way. I thought it was a really superb ride.”
Funtastic was rushed up to take the lead out of the starting gate, but was then able to cruise through relatively mild fractions of :24.39, :48.89, and 1:13.52 while nearly two lengths ahead of One Go All Go and Profiteer. Money Multiplier had a bit of a rough trip early, having to check hard in the first of three turns to stay off heels, but settled down to travel in about sixth position under the wire for the first time.
While Money Multiplier was making up a lot of ground on the turn, including a rival-splitting move that shot him into second, Funtastic was still going strong up front. He had moved away to a two-length leading margin, and Money Multiplier wasn't able to make up that ground in the stretch. Funtastic crossed the wire about a half-length ahead of Money Multiplier, while defending winner Bigger Picture checked in third. Vettori Kin finished fourth.
“The turf was hard today and I saw it was mostly speed,” Gallardo said. “Chad Brown told me it's better to go to the lead, that this horse has long action and he can go all day well. Once he told me that the plan was the plan, so I sent him to the lead. He was really comfortable with a nice pace and he gave me everything had at the end. I'm not really surprised. Chad told me the horse was doing well. I like when a horse keeps progressing and I watched a couple of races of this horse and that's what he was doing. I could feel somebody coming at the end but my horse never slowed the pace. He wasn't ready to stop running.”
Bred in Kentucky by Besilu Stables, Funtastic is out of the stakes-winning Quiet American mare Quiet Dance. Though he had never tried graded stakes company, Funtastic did enter the United Nations off an allowance victory. Overall, his record now stands at 4-2-1 from nine starts, for earnings of over $380,000.
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