01/01/2012 11:08AM

Delta Downs: Unitas wins first stakes in B-Connected


Unitas ran the best race of his career at Delta Downs in October, and upon his return to the Vinton, La., oval Saturday night, he became a stakes winner in the $60,000 B-Connected.

The race shared a card with the $60,000 Lookout won by Rileys Monarch ($18). Both races were for 3-year-olds and up, and both were restricted to Louisiana-breds who had not won a stakes in 2011.

Unitas ($22.20) shipped into Delta Downs this fall and won a first-level allowance by more than 10 lengths, earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 96. He then was off the board in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint on Dec. 10 before returning to Delta for the B-Connected.

Unitas dueled with Nicene Creed through an opening quarter in 22.55 seconds in the one-mile race, then fell into a tracking position as that foe continued to dictate the terms through a half-mile in 46.63. Unitas moved to the fore on the final turn and darted home by 4 1/4 lengths over 4-5 favorite Break Up. It was another half-length back in third to Heavenville.

Unitas covered the distance on a fast track in 1:38.39. Diego Saenz was aboard for P. Dale Ladner and trainer Brett Brinkman.

In the Lookout for fillies and mares, Rileys Monarch closed from some 15 lengths back to overtake pacesetter Warrior Maid by two lengths. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third to Moon Larry.

Rileys Monarch lagged well off the pace as Warrior Maid was clear through an opening half-mile in 47.20. Rileys Monarch began to advance in the later stages and rallied past the field in the stretch to cover the mile in 1:40.71. Kerwin Clark was aboard for TK Riley Farm and trainer Sam Breaux.