Uni, a multiple graded-stakes winner, rallied from last to capture the sixth running of the $100,000 Perfect Sting on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Trained by Chad Brown for owners Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners, Robert LaPenta, and Bethlehem Stables, Uni made her seasonal debut a winning one in the one-mile trip on a firm Widener turf course for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward.
Making her first appearance since winning the Grade 1 Matriarch on December 2 at Del Mar, Uni, the 2-5 favorite, settled last-of-five under Joel Rosario as Too Charming marked the quarter-mile in 23.92 seconds.
Too Charming, under pressure from Mrs. Ramona G., reached the half-mile in 47.63 as Binti Al Nar advanced along the hedge with Bellavais, the 3-1 second choice piloted by Manny Franco, launching her bid from fourth.
Mrs. Ramona G. took over from Too Charming at the top of the lane, but Uni, urged into action through the turn, easily lapped her rivals and surged clear for a one-length win in a final time of 1:32.84.
Mrs. Ramona G. completed the exacta, 1 1/2-lengths in front of Bellavais. Too Charming and Binti Al Nar rounded out the order of finish.
Rosario was full of praise for the 5-year-old More Than Ready chestnut.
“She went easy most of the way and then towards home she took me for a ride. She finished well,” said Rosario. “She really looked the best among the field on paper, and showed it today. She's just a runner. She's able to make a big move and got the job done.”
Uni was perfect through four starts last season, all in stakes company, taking the Plenty of Grace at Aqueduct Racetrack, the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose at Saratoga Race Course, and the Grade 3 Noble Damsel at Belmont.
“She gave a good effort. She was just second best today. We ran into a very good horse, but I'm happy with her effort.”
Uni, bred in Great Britain by Haras D'Etreham, banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 8-3-2 from 15 starts. She paid $2.90 for a $2 win ticket.
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