Adhamo capitalizes at the United Nations; Lemista strikes back in Matchmaker

Adhamo with Flavien Prat on riding wins the United Nations Stakes (Photo by Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

The trainer/jockey tandem of Chad Brown and Flavien Prat swept all four graded stakes on the Haskell (G1) undercard at Monmouth on Saturday. Their turf double came courtesy of Adhamo in the United Nations (G1) $618,000 and Lemist in the $201,000 matchmaker (G3), the two Irishmen broke through to the United States for the first time.

United Nations (G1)

Defending champion and Brown student Tribhuvan was the 5-2 favorite on the morning line, but the crowd eventually dispatched Adhamo as a 9-5 pick. The market was right, as Tribhuvan was forced to go faster than ideal early on, and the hitherto unlucky Adhamo finally had the right setup.

Tribhuvan won in a first quarter in :24.70 – not as fast as last year’s :24.01 – but the key factor on Saturday was that he was not allowed to slack off a comfortable lead. Epic Bromance hovered just within earshot, and it was enough to coax the lead runner through splits of: 48.86, 1:13.26, 1:36.35 and 2:00.24. Compare these fractions to Tribhuvan times in 2021: 49.32, 1:15.47, 1:40.16 and 2:03.52, both races on a firm course.

Swinging down the home stretch, Tribhuvan was still traveling well, until he approached the eighth post. The 11th and final stage discovered him and he began to shorten his stride.

Adhamo was just getting carried away. After saving ground most of the time in the midpack, the European expat tilted to unleash a powerful closing kick and overwhelmed the weakening Tribhuvan. Adhamo won by 1 1/2 lengths in a final time of 2:12.68.

Epic Bromance 72.70-1 stubbornly continued to snatch second place in a three-way finish with Temple and Tribhuvan, the trio split. Gufo, the joint second pick with Tribhuvan at 2.40-1, showed late interest in moving up for fifth. This is followed by Carpenters Call, Kentucky Ghost, Glynn County, Mohs and He’spuregold.

Adhamo’s first win in the United States for Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb and Louis Lazzinnaro improved his CV to 15-5-3-3, $751,129. Bought for $289,900 at last fall’s Arqana Arc Sale, Brainy’s son narrowly missed its US premiere at the February 19 Fair Grounds (G3). He was third in the Turf Classic (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day, then a troubled second in Tribhuvan, the last to lead the Manhattan (G1).

The Wertheimer and Frere-bred had shown ability in France last season for Freddie Head. Adhamo won the Prix La Force (G3), placed third in the Prix Eugene Adam (G2), placed fourth in the Prix de Guiche (G3) and was not dishonored in seventh place behind the Saint’s Basilica -Marc in the Prix du Jockey Club. (French Derby) (G1).

Adhamo’s dam, French goalscorer Foreign Tune, is a full sister to multiple Group 2 heroine Impassable. The mare Invincible Spirit is also a half-sister to Group 3 winners Spotify and Attendu.

Matchmaker (G3)

Earlier in the Matchmaker, Peter M. Brant’s Lemista fended off a tough challenge from stablemate Fluffy Socks to record his first American victory. The 4.60 to 1 odds hadn’t won since winning the 2020 Kilboy Estate (G2) at the Curragh, but the Irish import had chipped away at miners in the United States. A perfect run from Prat helped her cross the finish line.

While the other brunette competitor, Flighty Lady, dictated a modest pace in :23.82, :48.34 and 1:12.21, Lemista was quick in stride and well placed. Fluffy Socks, which usually rallies further and further back, tucked a little closer to the rear stretch given the shape of the ride.

When Lemista stuck Flighty Lady into the far turn, Fluffy Socks covered her move in the stretch and seemed to have her on hand. Lemista, however, had something in store and moved away half a length. Negotiating 1 1/8 grassy miles in 1:47.07, she netted $11.20.

Vigilantes Way closed on the inside to threaten to take second, but Fluffy Socks saved second with a neck. Lemista and the placegetters will receive a season for one of three WinStar Stallions (Global Campaign, Tom’s State, and Improbable) as a sponsor upgrade for their purse.

Flighty Lady tired in fourth place, followed by Lady Rockstar, the non-threatening favorite 9-5; Fundamental values; and Wholebodemeister. The office tag has been scratched off.

Lemista compiled a record 13-5-1-2, $362,288. Originally trained by Ger Lyons, the Raven’s Pass daughter has won three straight sophomore wins over the elders. She opened this 2020 campaign by taking the Park Express (G3), and after racing resumed after the COVID lockdown, she added the Victor McCalmont Memorial S. and Kilboy Estate. Her season ended on a disappointing note when she finished 10th at Blandford (G2) in the Irish Champions weekend.

Resurfacing for Brant and Brown in 2021, Lemista was runner-up in the Beaugay (G3), eighth in the Diana (G1) and third in the Beverly D. (G1) finals held in Arlington. She was not seen again until this season, when she was fourth in Beaugay on May 14 and third in Eatontown on June 18 (G3) in her preparation for Monmouth.

Bred by Drumlin Bloodstock in the Emerald Isle, Lemista was an $18,768 weaning purchase from Goffs in November. His dam, mare Arcano Shortmile Lady, is a half-sister to French Group 3 winner Indian Maiden. They descend from the all-star family of 1988 Kentucky Derby (G1) vixen and Hall of Famer Winning Colors.

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