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Uncle Benny Wins Allied Forces
Beach Haven Thoroughbreds’ Uncle Benny finished first to win the $100,000 Allied Forces Stakes at Belmont Park on Sunday. His last victory was at the same place, so he now has back-to-back victories after the strong performance.
Uncle Benny, trained by Jason Servis, broke from post 2 under jockey Manny Franco. He came into the race as the 7/5 favorite. After breaking well from the post, Uncle Benny moved to the inside and dropped off of the early pace.
Towards the front of the field was Mucho, who set fractions of :22.50 and :45.29. Elektronik was close behind and running on the outside trying to move ahead.
As the field made its way into the far turn, Uncle Benny was running in the middle of the pack. He eventually moved out to the five-path as they went into the top of the stretch. As Uncle Benny began to close strongly along the outside, he moved up to the front and was on the inside of the 1/8 pole.
Uncle Benny was able to hold on and win the race by two lengths. He finished the 6-furlong sprint over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:08.57.
The Rest of the Field
Chilly in Charge came into the race as the longest shot with 34/1, but he impressed many. He moved up from the back of the field to pass up Pulsate and take second. Elektronik was not able to hold on late and began to fall back towards the end of the race. He finished fourth ahead of Neverland Rock, who was able to move past Mucho and finish fifth.
Readyforprimetime, along with Achilles Warrior, were the two who completed the order to finish. Releasethethunder was a Main Track Only entry. No Bang No Boom had a rough day after breaking through the gate too early and losing his jockey. He had to be corralled by an outrider, and he was scratched from the race.
Uncle Benny’s Year
The Allied Forces was Uncle Benny’s first win since he finished first in the Futurity Stakes. That race took place on the same track last October, so the horse has familiarity with running there. He improved his record to 5-3-1-0, and his total earnings are now at $330,100.
He ended the 2018 season by finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). In his only start in 2019, Uncle Benny had a disappointing run and finished far back in seventh.
Franco spoke about the 3-year-old son of Declaration of War’s performance after the race. One of the important aspects of this running was for Uncle Benny to break from the post better than he has in his last few performances.
“I wanted to make sure that he broke well,” Franco said. “The last three times, he broke slow. After the break, I just settled back and didn’t change anything. He was there for me the whole way. I had a lot of horse at the end.”
Uncle Benny returned $4.20 to win, $3.70 to place, and $3.10 to show. Since Chilly in Charge was such a longshot, the payouts were large. He returned $20 to place and $7 to show. Pulsate brought back $4.90 to show.
Uncle Benny performs well at Belmont Park, but he seems to struggle when running other places. He’ll try to take what he did there on Sunday to help him perform better outside.