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Jul 08, 2011

Teaks North and Kensei pick up Monmouth stakes wins



Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - Teaks North held off defending winner Chinchon to capture Saturday's $750,000 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park. One race earlier, 15-1 longshot Kensei won the $200,000 Salvator Mile at the Jersey Shore track.

Sent off as the 7-1 fourth choice in the 10-horse field, Teaks North came from off the pace to win the 1 3/8-mile United Nations on Monmouth's firm turf course. He was able to hold off, by a half-length, last year's winner Chinchon who was the 2-1 co-favorite with third-place finisher Stacelita.

Rounding out the order of finish was Bourbon Bay, General Perfect, Eldaafer, Bold Hawk, Pulsion, Belle Watling and Sleepless Knight.

Teaks North covered the distance in 2:13.28

Owned by Julia Boutelle, Teaks North now has an automatic spot in this year's $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs by virtue of winning the United Nations.

"My horse has moved forward in every race and has matured this season," said winning trainer Justin Sallusto. "He's even learned to settle down in the morning and conserve his energy for the finish in his works. He's at the top of his game right now."

The United Nations was the second straight ride for jockey Eddie Castro on the four-year-old gelding. Three weeks ago the pair won the Monmouth Stakes after racing close to the lead.

"After that last race, Castro couldn't pull him up. He'll run all day. It?s all about the ride anyway," Sallusto said. "Get the right trip, and you're okay."

Teaks North has won seven of 17 career starts for $976,964, including $450,000 from Saturday's victory.

Teaks North returned $16.00, $6.40 and $4.00. Chinchon paid $4.00 and $3.00, and Stacelita paid $3.00 to show.

In the Salvator Mile, Kensei pulled off the big surprise by getting the best of his six rivals. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the five-year-old was never far off the pace and sprang into action down the stretch.

Ridden by Edgar Prado, Kensei took the lead from 3-2 favorite Morning Line at the top of the stretch and was able to post a three-quarters length victory over 5-2 second pick Soaring Empire.

"He broke sharp and the other horses went for the lead," said Prado. "I was in the garden spot. I was very happy with my position early. He was running pretty easily around there and made his move when I started to ask him. He really dug in."

Completing the order of finish was Rule, Motovato, Morning Line, Cactus Charlie and Friesan Fire.

The time for the mile was 1:36.83 on a fast track.

Kensei, owned by Stonestreet Stables, adds $120,000 to his bankroll. The five- year-old has won five of 17 career starts for $731,364. His last win came in the 2009 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga. He was coming off an 11th-place finish in the Met Mile on Memorial Day at Belmont Park.

Kensei returned $32.40, $11.80 and $5.20. Soaring Empire paid $4.00 and $3.00, and Rule paid $3.80 to show.

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