Saturday’s running of the prestigious G1 United Nations at Monmouth features two standout mares among its 10 competitors—Chilean Horse of the Year Belle Watling, and multiple French Group 1 winner Stacelita. A win by either would be a hallmark occasion as no filly or mare has ever captured this prestigious turf race first contested at Atlantic City in 1953, although four have come close—and, interestingly, two of those were owned by George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable, and trained by Jonathan Sheppard, Trevita and Alice Springs:
Trevita (Tyrant, out of Tack, by Tacitus)
Irish-born Trevita finished a half length behind 14-1 longshot Acaroid in the 1983 edition; even though he had finished second in the previous year’s running, the 5-year-old colt carried three pounds less than the 6-year-old mare, winner of the G1 Flower Bowl the previous fall.
Career record: 36 starts, 13 wins-10 seconds-3 thirds ($458,099)
Capades (Overskate, out of Medal of Valor, by Damascus)
In 1990, reigning champion turf horse Steinlen defeated New York-bred Capades by nearly four lengths in what had been temporarily renamed the Caesars International.
Career record: 27 starts, 11 wins-9 seconds-2 thirds ($1,051,006)
Alice Springs (Val de l’Orne, out of First Approach, by Northern Fling)
In the year Sandpit captured the first of his two consecutive Caesars Internationals (1995), the Pennsylvania-bred mare Alice Springs finished third, just 1-1/4 lengths back of the winner, but closing fast. The second-place finisher Celtic Arms numbered the 1994 G1 Prix du Jockey Club among his victories.
Career record: 26 starts, 9 wins-2 seconds-7 thirds ($768,889)
Honey Ryder (Lasting Approval, out of Cuando Quiere, by Affirmed)
In 2007, gray mare Honey Ryder began her 6-year-old campaign with a runner-up finish (by a neck) to Jambalaya in the G1 Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Turf; after a disappointing 11th place finish in the Dubai Sheema Classic, she won the G2 Sheepshead Bay. Off that race, she entered the G1 United Nations—and finished second, just a length back of defending UN champion English Channel, and two lengths ahead of 2005 victor Better Talk Now.
Career record: 33 starts, 13 wins-4 seconds-8 thirds ($2,879,200)