After having his catch-me-if-you-can routine spoiled by one of his stablemates in his first try against Grade 1 company last month, the Chad Brown-trained Tribhuvan (FR) made his frontrunning form stand up at the highest level, leading every point of call in the three-turn test around Monmouth Park to take the $500,000 United Nations Stakes (G1) on July 17.
Since coming to North America from his native France, Tribhuvan hasn’t been worse than third in the five times he has reached the wire with his only real blemish coming when he was pulled up after having a rein break in the 2020 edition of the Fort Marcy Stakes (G2). The bay gelding actually began his 2021 campaign by taking the Fort Marcy and he nearly pulled the upset in the Manhattan Stakes (G1) on June 5, establishing a clear advantage on the front end before being run down by fellow Brown trainee Domestic Spending (GB) in the stretch.
Though he was joined in the starting gate by barnmates Master Piece (CHI) and Serve the King (GB) in the 10-horse field for the United Nations, Tribhuvan would be the one to give his four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner his fourth win in the top-level test. Breaking out of post 10 under Flavien Prat, the 5-year-old gelded son of Toronado (IRE) put daylight between himself and his rivals from the start, opening up a five-length lead as he reached the half-mile mark in :49.32.
He was still out front by three lengths at hit the one-mile mark in 1:40.16 but had a threat come to him on the final turn when Winters Back loomed. That challenge was short lived as Tribhuvan opened up again in the lane, hitting the wire two lengths in front of runner-up Imperador (ARG) in a final time of 2:15.48 over a course rated firm.
“The way he ran (on the front end from start to finish) was the strategy,” said Luis Cabrerra, assistant to Brown. “That’s the way he ran in the (Grade 1) Manhattan in last start. He was just second-best to Domestic Spending. So we wanted to do the same thing this race. This horse has been training well. We’ve had him for a week at Monmouth Park and he has really taken to this place.
“I wasn’t worried about them catching him because these fractions weren’t all that fast. In the Manhattan he went 22-and-change and then 46.4 to the half. That was much faster and he still held strong for second. When I saw the fractions today I knew we were okay.”
Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, Tribhuvan returned $5.40, $4.20, $3.60 in earning his fifth win from 19 career starts. Owned by Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, and Michael Caruso, he improves his earnings to $661,154.
“We had a good trip. He broke well and got me in the race,” said Prat. “Then I was surprised I was alone because I didn’t feel like I was going that fast, and he really came back to me nice along the backside, and I took a nice breather. It was a good breather. The race went really well when I asked him to make his move. It worked out well. I had a lot of horse under me and he was really traveling well.”