Bricks and Mortar, Uni (GB), Tops on Turf

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Bricks and Mortar | Horsephotos

Having been nursed back to health over much of calendar year 2018 after being treated for a potentially career-ending case of stringhalt, Bricks and Mortar was an unstoppable force last year and became the first Horse of the Year for trainer Chad Brown Thursday evening. He was also a unanimous winner of the Eclipse Award for older turf male, the third in five years for a Brown trainee (Big Blue Kitten, 2015; Flintshire {GB}, 2016).

Underfoot conditions were of no concern to the $200,000 Keeneland September graduate last season, as he commenced his unbeaten streak with a smooth victory over Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in the inaugural GI Pegasus World Cup Turf S. over yielding Gulfstream turf in January, then sat up on the ‘speed’ in a paceless renewal of the GII Mervin Muniz Memorial H. at the Fair Grounds and managed to gut it out late. He overcame another soft pace in the GI Old Forester Turf Classic in May, added a 1 1/2-length defeat of stablemate Robert Bruce (Chi) (Fast Company {Ire}) in the GI Manhattan S. the following month and finished fast to best Magic Wand in the GI Arlington Million.

After a time of indecision as to which Breeders’ Cup race might suit him best, Bricks and Mortar ultimately went for the Turf. He proved wrong those who doubted his ability to stay the 12-furlong trip, leading home a 1-2 finish for his sire over United with G1 Investec Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) close up in third.
Bricks and Mortar stands his first year at stud at Shadai Farm in Japan in 2020.

Accepting the Award (Champion Turf Male)…

“Bricks and Mortar has been the thrill of a lifetime for Bill [Lawrence] and me. Bricks ended his career with 11 victories from 13 starts. He was within a length and a half of being undefeated. In 2019 alone, he was six-for-six at six different tracks, five of which were Grade I wins. In his career he won a staggering $7-million in purses. We ran him against the best competition we could find. He danced every dance. These accomplishments are largely due to the efforts of Chad Brown. Chad is an incredibly gifted horseman and he managed this horse with great patience and skill. Irad Ortiz rode this horse confidently and masterfully, the perfect rider for this perfect season. I want to thank the voters for recognizing the achievements of this truly exceptional equine athlete.” –Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables, co-owner

Uni presented her sire with an Eclipse Award winner for the third consecutive year (Roy H, 2017, 2018) and gave her trainer Chad Brown a third champion turf female in succession and fourth in six years Thursday evening. In doing so, she out-pointed her stablemate and 2018 champion Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) and the Mark Casse-trained Got Stormy (Get Stormy).

UNI WINS TOP TURF FEMALE: 

Winner of Belmont’s Perfect Sting S. when returning from an eight-month absence in late June, Uni tried the boys for the first time in this country–she defeated males in French listed company in 2017–in Saratoga’s GI Fourstardave H. Aug. 10. She trailed by as many as 17 lengths passing halfway and it proved a gap just too big to bridge, as she closed fast to finish third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Got Stormy. Back with her peers for Keeneland’s GI First Lady S. Oct. 5, she covered the final quarter mile in :22.68 and the last eighth of a mile in :11.46 for a 2 1/2-length tally in course-record time. Supplemented for $100,000 to the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile, she turned in an effort very similar to the one in Lexington, tossing in her final two furlongs in :22.69 (:11.29 home) en route to a 1 3/4-length defeat of Got Stormy.

Bred on the highly successful cross of More Than Ready–sire of champions in seven countries–over Danehill-line mares, Uni stays in training at age six in 2020.

Accepting the Award…

“On behalf of my partners Sol Kumin, Bobby LaPenta and Mike Caruso, I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Uni. Uni truly speaks for herself and I thank the Eclipse voters for listening. I would be remiss if I did not congratulate the connections of Sistercharlie and Got Stormy. In any other season, they would have likely been crowned champion. This is personal in so many ways. I take tremendous pride in sharing this with Chad Brown and his staff. I’ve been with Chad from the beginning, really when he just had a dozen horses. We claimed horses together, we won stakes races with those horses together and the die was cast as far as Chad Brown goes. Chad to me is like a brother, a son and most of all a best friend and this all could not have happened without Chad.” —Michael Dubb, co-owner

Early Impressions…

“Uni was one of the fillies I indicated to my partner in America Bradley Weisbord to buy for his client Sol Kumin during the 2017 winter. She was in training with Fabrice Chappet in Chantilly and he always liked her. She won her maiden by four lengths at Deauville on her third outing in January and then came third against the colts in a listed race at Cagnes-Sur-Mer meeting. At that point, I did really push Sol to get involved in her as her previous owner Nicolas de Chambure from Etreham was only interested to sell a share in her. Brad put together a deal for Sol Kumin and Mike Dubb to buy half of her and the story began.

She won a listed race brilliantly against the colts in Paris and went to the USA to run in the [GI] Belmont Oaks, where she finished third to Sistercharlie. To see her be crowned champion after winning the Breeders Cup Mile, beating the boys, is a dream come true for all involved.” —bloodstock agent Nicolas de Watrigant of the Mandore Agency

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