Unified debuted to much acclaim on February 21 at Gulfstream Park. Sent off as the heavy favorite, the dark bay colt delivered with aplomb. His rousing score earned him a 99 Beyer Speed Figure, second highest by any three-year-old thus far in 2016, trailing just reigning champion Nyquist by one point. The victory also earned him TDN “Rising Star” status, a spot in Daily Racing Form’s week in review piece, and a mention in Steve Haskin’s popular “Derby Dozen” blog on The Blood-Horse.
Centennial President Don Little remembering back to the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale was quoted in the TDN saying “We liked his pedigree, but we really liked the way he walked. He looked around like he was really aware of what was happening and with a very keen eye. He had a lot of presence. He has a great walk, great shoulder, very fluid in his walk. We knew Candy Ride was on his way up. He fit the Centennial mold of a Classic-type horse.”
We are looking forward to the future with the exciting colt, and judging from the reception he received, we’re not alone. Check out a sampling of the reaction to his debut:
It looks like Jimmy Jerkens and @Centennial_Farm have another promising horse! Unified looked great winning his debut at Gulfstream.
— J. Keeler Johnson (@J_Keelerman) February 21, 2016
Impressive debut for Saratoga graduate Unified today at Gulfstream Park for @Centennial_Farm . Bright future for this Candy Ride colt
— boyd browning (@btbrowning) February 21, 2016
— ron nicoletti (@ronic17) February 21, 2016
Extremely impressive debut by Jimmy Jerkens’ Unified who draws off to easy win over McLaughlin firster Mutaraamy, 6 furlongs in 1:08.95.
— Mike Welsch (@DRFWelsch) February 21, 2016
For me, the most impressive part of Unified’s win was the gallop out after the late lead change. Some kind of weekend for Candy Ride.
— Alan Carasso (@EquinealTDN) February 21, 2016
— Steve Byk (@Steve_Byk) February 22, 2016