Unique Unions Tries Winners In NYSSS Great White Way

Unique Unions will vie for his first victory against winners in Saturday’s NYSSS Great White Way for eligible state-sired juveniles going seven furlongs over the main track at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The first of two New York Stallion Stakes Series races on Saturday’s nine-race card, the Great White Way division is slated as Race 6 with the Fifth Avenue division set for Race 8. With each division offering a purse of $500,000, the New York Stallion Stakes Series rewards owners and breeders for their efforts to breed mares to stallions in the Empire State.

“The New York Stallion Stakes Series works to directly benefit and promote stakeholders in the New York-bred program, especially New York stallion owners and everyone who invests in their progeny,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. which administers the NYSSS. “We’re thankful the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund and NYRA continue to partner in supporting this 10-race series totaling $2,300,000 in purses and the ability to earn 20 percent in addition to purse earnings with Open Owner’s Awards for finishers first through third.

“The opportunity to breed or purchase a New York-sired New York-bred at auction and compete in the richest juvenile sire stakes races in the country with the $500,000 Great White Way for males and Fifth Avenue for fillies provides tremendous value for New York Sired progeny,” Thompson added. “It’s a great example of the opportunities and incentives available by participating in the New York-bred program and NYSSS races.”

Unique Unions, trained and co-owned by Rick Schosberg with Clear Stars Stable and Mitre Box Stable enters the Great White Way off an impressive 4 ¼ length maiden special weight romp at Aqueduct on November 20.

Battling for the lead down the backstretch with two foes to his inside, the son of second-crop sire Union Jackson was asked by jockey Manny Franco to make his move rounding the turn and found a new gear, steadily widening his advantage and stopping the clock in a final time of 1:12.08.

“I was expecting him to run big,” said Schosberg. “Manny worked him for us to get a feel for him and he really liked him. We have had some really nice horses come through this barn and he sure acts the part.”

Unique Union’s maiden score came on the heels of a troubled first start at Belmont Park on Sept. 25 when he briefly made a bid for the lead after the break but took an awkward step and was pulled up and vanned off rounding the turn. Schosberg said that the gelding sustained no injuries and was vanned as a precautionary measure.

“There was nothing wrong with him,” Schosberg said “He was bright and standing well. The jockey said he took some funny steps when he tried to switch leads and just wasn’t in sync. It’s fine he pulled him up. He thought the horse was having an issue and you err on the side of caution no matter what when it comes to the health and welfare of the horse.”

A $60,000 purchase by his owners at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale in May, Unique Unions caught the eye of his connections when he posted a 10.1 second furlong at the sale. Schosberg said that the colt has shown enough in the mornings and in his maiden score to warrant a start in stakes company.

“I don’t think it’s overstepping looking at the nominations,” he said. “I see no reason why we shouldn’t be in there. He has not regressed one bit since he broke his maiden. He has moved forward and gained weight. His works have been what we want to see.”

Schosberg also spoke to the purse money offered by the New York Stallion Stakes Series, emphasizing the importance of awarding breeders for their dedication to the New York program.

“These stallion stakes are a huge plus for us,” said Schosberg. “It’s fantastic that they can have a purse like this. It’s a great opportunity to earn some big money with some horses that have connections that took the time and resources to get through the process. The idea is to keep good stallions here in New York, which is key to our breeding industry. We need mares to breed to New York sires as opposed to shipping elsewhere as it helps the economy here in New York. This is a great way to promote it.”

A win with Unique Unions would provide Schosberg with his second Great White Way victory after conditioning Rush Chairman Bill to take the 1992 edition.

Unique Unions will exit Post 1 with Franco in the irons again.

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Trainer Genevieve Londono will ship in Stirdatpot off a second-place 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight effort at Churchill Downs on November 20.

Stalking the pace in third under Alex Achard, Stirdatpot had some trouble switching his leads in the stretch but held on gamely to secure place honors by a neck.

“Scott Kent broke him in Ocala and he has been growing and maturing ever since” said Londono. “He was a little green in his last race and was rambunctious in the post parade, but he’s improving. His dam had a lot of heart too.”

A homebred son of Trinniberg for Londono and Charlie Hancock, Stirdatpot will look to become Londono’s second stakes winner from 13 starters.

Stirdatpot breaks from Post 8 with Edgar Morales up.

Iron Lion in Zion also enters the Great White Way off a maiden special weight score last out for trainer Tom Morley in a state-bred seven-furlong contest at Belmont Park November 5.

Fifth on debut after bumping with his inside foe leaving the gate and weakening in the stretch, the son of Bellamy Road took a step forward in his next start, putting together a last-to-first effort to break his maiden.

Positioned at the rear of the field by Dylan Davis in the early stages, Iron Lion in Zion came under a ride at the three-eighths pole before taking command at the sixteenth pole and keeping to task with right-handed encouragement from Davis to win by 2 ¾ lengths.

On Friday, Iron Lion in Zion posted his final work for the Great White Way, breezing a half-mile in 50.85 seconds over Belmont’s dirt training track.

A homebred for owner DutchessViews Farm, Iron Lion in Zion will exit Post 9 with Davis aboard.

Cypress Creek Equine’s Un Ojo will look to improve off a game fourth-place effort last out in the Jean Lafitte at Delta Downs on November 20. A maiden special weight winner on November 5 at Delta, the gelded son of Laoban gave a stalking performance in the Jean Lafitte with Devin Magnon up.

Roused in the final turn and sent up the middle lane to split horses, Un Ojo weaved his way back down to the inside path to make a final drive to the finish in the stretch, finishing five lengths behind the top three to round out the superfecta.

Now in the barn of Anthony Dutrow after making his first three starts with Ricky Courville, the dark bay breezed five furlongs in 1:02.54 over the main track at Belmont on Sunday.

Trevor McCarthy will guide Un Ojo from Post 11.

The Bruce Levine-trained Bustin Pietre faced a tall order last time out when stepping up from a debut maiden claiming victory to face multiple stakes winner Senbei in the Notebook at Belmont on November 21.

Tracking in second behind Senbei throughout the six furlongs, the Bustin Stones gelding finished well to hold off a late bid from Daufuskie Island to secure second by a half-length at the wire.

Breezing five furlongs over Belmont Park’s dirt training track on Friday, Bustin Pietre’s time of 1:02.01 was the third-best of 14 works that day.

Kendrick Carmouche gets the call to ride from Post 2.

Completing the field for the Great White Way are stakes-placed Maseta [Post 3, Eric Cancel], maidens Safalow’s Mission [Post 4, Jose Ortiz] and Hot Stepper [Post 5, Samuel Camacho, Jr.] Awad runner-up Geno [Post 6, Jorge Vargas, Jr.], Flying P Stable’s Hoboken Jack [Post 7, Jose Lezcano], and Morris E. Kerman, Jr.’s and Jagger Inc.’s Kenner [Post 10, Ruben Silvera].

Named for Broadway in Manhattan’s theater district, the Great White Way offers a 3:09 p.m. Eastern post. First post for the card is set for 12:20 p.m.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.

The post Unique Unions Tries Winners In NYSSS Great White Way appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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