Barese makes quick turn back in NYSSS Times Square

April 20, 2022

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Paradise Farms and David Staudacher’s multiple stakes winner Barese will cut back in distance in Saturday’s $200,000 Times Square division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, a 6 1/2-furlong main track sprint for eligible New York-sired sophomores, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by Mike Maker, the New York-bred Laoban colt finished fifth last out in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino on April 9 at the Big A. He entered the nine-furlong Wood Memorial from state-bred stakes wins at Aqueduct in the 6 1/2-furlong Rego Park in January and the one-turn mile Gander on February 12.

Maker said he was pleased with Barese’s Wood Memorial effort after breaking from the outermost post 8 and tracking four-wide through both turns, missing fourth by a nose to A. P.’s Secret.

“I thought he ran a great race, he just wasn’t good enough,” Maker said. “He continues to train well and we’re looking for some class relief.”

The conditioner didn’t rule out a return to route racing in the future for the $150,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase, who garnered a career and field-best 89 Beyer Speed Figure in his two-turn debut.

“I think he can get two turns in the right company,” Maker said.

Maker said Barese, who last breezed on April 2, has trained well out of the Wood Memorial.

“He’s just galloped. It’s a short turnaround and a cut back in distance. I didn’t feel like he needed a work to come back in two weeks,” Maker said.

Barese is assigned a field-high 123 pounds, five more than each of his six rivals. He will exit post 2 under returning rider Dylan Davis.

Unique Unions, a New York-bred Union Jackson gelding trained and co-owned by Rick Schosberg with Clear Stars Stable and Mitre Box Stable, has kept good company in his last two outings.

Unique Unions broke his maiden sprinting six furlongs at second asking against fellow state-breds in November at the Big A. He followed in December at Aqueduct with a pacesetting third in the seven-furlong NYSSS Great White Way won narrowly by Geno over Un Ojo, who exited that effort to run second in the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct ahead of an upset win in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park.

Unique Unions finished fourth last out in the Rego Park, setting the pace under regular pilot Manny Franco in a race won by returning rival Barese.

Schosberg said Unique Unions, who will exit the inside post under Franco, is training well into his return, including a half-mile breeze in 50.66 Saturday over the Belmont Park dirt training track.

“He’s been doing really well. After his last race we decided to give him a bit of time,” Schosberg said. “He’s done a lot in a short period of time, and we really like him. We think he has a strong future to be a top New York-bred, so we freshened him up a little bit and let him put some weight on.”

Schosberg said he was particularly impressed by Union Unions’ effort in the seven-furlong Great White Way, in which he set a sharp pace to finish just 2 1/2-lengths behind Geno.

“I think if the first [NYSSS] race was six or six and a half [furlongs] we might have got the lion’s share of that, but the distance was a little bit far for him,” Schosberg said. “This is back to six and a half and I think we have a heck of a shot. Manny knows him real well and I think it’s a good opportunity to get lucky.”

Schosberg said Unique Unions possesses natural speed, but doesn’t necessarily need the lead.

“I think it will be determined by the competition,” Schosberg said. “I don’t think he has to be on the lead and he doesn’t train that way. He’s very relaxed in his training. He’s not the type of horse that grabs the bit and goes, he’ll go when you ask him to. If someone outbreaks him, which is unlikely, I think he has the opportunity to stalk and not let them get away.”

Unique Unions, out of the Eltish mare Nicole’s Miss El, was bred in the Empire State by Larry F. Botting. He was purchased for $60,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale.

Peter Kazamias’ Kazmike, trained by Dimitrios Synnefias, will look to graduate in style in his stakes debut.

The New York-homebred son of Bank Heist overcame a troubled start to finish second, by a nose, in his March 5 debut sprinting six-furlongs against fellow state-breds at the Big A. The game debut effort garnered a 75 Beyer. He followed with a strong second traveling three-quarters against older state-bred maidens on March 31.

Trevor McCarthy will guide Kazmike from post 7.

Rounding out the field are maiden winners Mo Dancin [post 4, Jose Lezcano] and Mister Larry [post 6, Jose Gomez], who adds blinkers; as well as maidens Tommy Gun [post 3, Eric Cancel] and Red D G P [post 5, Kendrick Carmouche].

The NYSSS Times Square is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s 10-race card, which also features the $100,000 Woodhaven in Race 9. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

Photo: Barese (CD Photo)

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