September 24, 2020

United faces six in Eddie Read

United (right) winning the Charles Whittingham © BENOIT PHOTO

A head second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), United will seek his third consecutive graded victory this season when he lines up for Sunday’s $200,000 Eddie Read (G2) at Del Mar. The Richard Mandella-trained gelding tops a field of seven in the 1 1/8-mile turf test.

A 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, United opened this year with a victory in the San Marcos (G2) at Santa Anita. The chestnut utilized front-running tactics when capturing the May 23 Charles Whittingham (G2) last out, and United will return from a 64-day freshening Sunday. Regular rider Flavien Prat has the call.

Bowies Hero will make a title defense after capturing the 2019 Eddie Read by 2 1/4 lengths. Winner of the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last fall, the 6-year-old will make his second start back off the layoff following a fast-closing second in the June 21 American (G3) at Santa Anita. Tiago Pereira rides for Philip D’Amato, who will also send out Grade 2 victor Cleopatra’s Strike. Runner-up in the San Marcos two back, Cleopatra’s Strike will try to improve upon a seventh in the American.

Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Combatant, unplaced most recently in the Oaklawn H. (G2), will switch from dirt to turf for trainer John Sadler, and Jorge Velez picks up the mount. American third-placer Sharp Samurai owns a 7-2-3-0 record on Del Mar’s turf, including a neck second in the 2018 Eddie Read, and Juan Hernandez will be up for Mark Glatt.

Originaire, placed second via disqualification in the Whittingham, and last-out San Francisco Mile (G3) winner Neptune’s Storm complete the field.