04/09/2016 5:30PM

Unified stays unbeaten with three-length score in Bay Shore

Barbara D. Livingston
Unified is now 2 for 2 after taking the Bay Shore under Jose Ortiz.

 OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Despite breaking a step slow, Unified recovered to get the early lead and turned back a persistent but outgunned King Kranz to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct, remaining unbeaten through two starts.

Dispatched as the clear choice in the field of six 3-year-olds, Unified ($4.40) did not break as alertly as he had in winning his debut at Gulfstream Park, but the Candy Ride colt moved through to get the lead from King Kranz through the opening quarter-mile, and repelled that rival through the stretch to score by three lengths beneath Jose Ortiz. King Kranz was eight lengths ahead of third-place finisher Cocked and Loaded, and the order of finish was completed by Awesome Gent, Richie the Bull, and Sallisaw in a strung-out field.

Unified earned a sensational 99 Beyer Figure first out, and he looked similarly impressive splashing away from King Kranz and galloping out strongly past the wire.

“He didn’t break great but he broke good,” said Ortiz. “I was in a good position and [winning trainer Jimmy Jerkens] told me to wait until they come to him. I waited until the quarter pole, and when I asked him to go, he flew. I think he is really, really nice. Now he’s got two races that prove that. The horses with five or six races under their belts – he with just one race – he beat them.”

Unified ran seven furlongs on a sealed muddy track in 1:22.86, and earned $180,000 for Centennial Farms while handling the added distance and class rise with speed to spare.

“Only quality horses do that,” said Jerkens. “He broke stupidly sharp last time, which horses never do, and I didn’t expect him [to do that again], but he got the lead easy enough, though the first quarter was a bit quick. When I saw King Kranz’s jockey scrubbing on him in the middle of the turn, I felt pretty confident. He showed us a lot today.”