Darley's Unification wins Grade III at Woodbine
Darley Stable's 2-year-old colt Unification captured the trophy in the Grade III $275,000 Grey Breeder's Cup Stakes at Woodbine on Monday against six opponents under jockey Robert Landry.
The Dixie Union colt broke on top in the 1 1/16 mile event and settled in just behind an honest pace of 23.3 for the opening quarter. He challenged the lead at the 3/8 pole and emerged a length in front at the top of the stretch, holding off a late bid by Badge of Truth and out-finishing the challenger by 3/4 of a length at the wire.
"He ran a fantastic race," said his trainer Eoin Harty, who predicted his horse would be near the lead after the break. Unification was stretching out for the first time after breaking his maiden impressively at Woodbine by three lengths in his second start at 6 1/2 furlongs on September 17. "He's got a great mind," said Harty. "He doesn't get wound up over anything."
Harty gives much of the credit for the success of Unification to his New York assistant Brian Ange, who has been supervising the colt's training since June.
"Out of all the two-year-olds we have, he's the one who has always acted like an older horse," said Ange of Unification. "He's very professional on the track."
Darley racing manager Jimmy Bell and his wife Wendy were on hand to witness their colt's outstanding performance. Unification has increased his earnings to $173,557 in three starts.
Bred in Ontario by Shannon Farms, the dark bay colt is out of the Devil's Bag mare Devil's Orchid, and was purchased for $750,000 at the 2005 Barretts' March 2-year-old in training sale. Ange pointed out that "Dixie Union is on fire with his two-year-olds this season."
Darley Stable hopes to keep the embers burning.