Fourstardave Possible for Uni

Uni (GB) | Horsephotos

Reigning champion turf mare Uni (GB) (More Than Ready), who finished third in her seasonal debut in the June 27 GI Just A Game S., may make her next start against colts in the GI Fourstardave S. Aug. 22 at Saratoga Race Course. The Chad Brown trainee, who suffered her only loss of 2019 in last year's Fourstardave, wrapped up her championship-earning season by taking the GI First Lady S. at Keeneland in course-record time and the GI Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

“The only Grade I going a flat mile on the grass at Saratoga is against boys. Will we try it? Probably,” said Bradley Weisbord of BSW/Crow Bloodstock, who manages Uni on behalf of owners Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners, Robert LaPenta and Bethlehem Stables. “She was an unlucky loser last year to Got Stormy. We could take that route again this year and try to protect our title in the First Lady at Keeneland and the Breeders' Cup Mile.”

Since joining Brown in 2017, Uni has placed in all but one of her 13 starts for the trainer, including eight stakes wins at six different tracks. In 2018, Uni won twice over soft and yielding turf in Saratoga's De La Rose S. and the GIII Noble Damsel S. at Belmont. While the turf was listed as “firm” for the Just a Game, there were rain showers in the Elmont area earlier in the day.

“She's won on soft turf before, but [jockey] Joel [Rosario] said she was struggling with the turf that day,” said Weisbord of the 6-year-old's latest start. “She probably needed the race. She had a splint issue in April and breezed four or five times heading into the Just a Game, so she wasn't super cherry heading into the race and you have to be cherry to beat a filly like Newspaperofrecord. Hats off to Chad for getting her back to Grade I form. She'll be tough the rest of the year.”

Fellow Brown trainee Rockemperor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), a close second in the GI Manhattan to stable mate Instilled Regard (Arch), could target the Sept. 5 GI Forester Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old is campaigned by Madaket Stable, Michael Dubb, Wonder Stables, Michael Kisber and Bethlehem Stables.

“It's hard to know what his best distance his, but a mile and an eighth should hit him right over the head,” Weisbord said. “We've gotten beat a lot in stakes, but what made that such a brutal beat [last time] was because he had the horses in front of him collared. I don't think the horse or Johnny saw Instilled Regard coming.”

Rockemperor has placed in four of his five starts in the United States, including a third in last season's GI Belmont Derby. He made his seasonal bow in the GII Muniz Memorial Classic at Fair Grounds Mar. 21 before being demoted to third in the May 23 GII Charles Whittingham at Santa Anita.

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