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ELMONT, NY – Trainer Chad Brown’s Uni continued her American turf ascension on Saturday, using a strong closing kick to capture the Grade 2, $400,000 Sands Point at Belmont Park.
Running midpack under jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., Uni tracked the pace set by La Coronel through fractions of :25.67, :49.99, 1:13.12, and 1:36.92. With traffic forcing her to swing six-wide into the stretch, Uni found clear space and kicked away, taking the lead in her last steps to cross the wire first in a final time of 1:48.97 across the inner turf course.
“The fractions weren’t very strong,” Brown said. “I think there was plenty of give and you could see the divots coming up. It was hard to gauge how slow the turf course is, as well. We were tucked in good there in the first turn. I thought she had a really good trip, maybe got held up a touch there and had to wait to make a run until she found some room, but, man, this horse has some kick. She just keeps improving.”
Only a neck behind the winner at the wire, La Coronel finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Fault, who displayed good energy to hold off Inflexibility by a neck for third.
Fifty Five, Vue Fantastique, Empressof the Nile, and Defiant Honor completed the order of finish. Chastise was scratched. Bonita Bianca was a Main-Track-Only entry.
The win was Uni’s first in three tries over American grass following a second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid and a third in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks.
“This is her best race to date and she’s an exciting horse for the future,” Brown said. “We really like her.”
Uni returned $4.70 to win, $3 to place, and $2.60 to show. La Coronel brought back $4.90 to place and $3.80 to show, while Fault paid $5.40 to show.
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