Multiple graded stakes winner Unbridled Belle tops a trio of charges from the barn of Todd Pletcher in the contentious Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I), Saratoga’s Aug. 30 headliner.
A 6-year-old mare by Broken Vow
, Unbridled Belle will look to turn the tables on Swift Temper
, who soundly defeated her July 19 in the $1-million Delaware Handicap
(gr. II) last out. Those two will also have to deal with 120-pound high weight, Miss Isella
, a winner of a pair of grade II events this season. Pletcher will also send out Sea Chanter
and With Flying Colors
in the 1 1/4-mile main track event, both of them entering off minor stakes victories at Belmont.
Post time for the $400,000 Personal Ensign is scheduled for 5:56 p.m. EDT.
An earner of more than $1.7 million, Team Valor International’s Unbridled Belle has captured one of three starts this season, that coming by 11 lengths in the June 20 Obeah Stakes (gr. III), Delaware Park’s local prep for the Delaware Handicap. Sent off as the even-money favorite in the Del 'Cap, Unbridled Belle could never match strides with the front-running Swift Temper, who won by 2 1/4 lengths. Unbridled Belle was another 1 3/4 lengths back of Icon Project
Unbridled Belle, the winner of Beldame (gr. I) and Del Cap in 2007, was bred in Kentucky by Joe Sutton and Laszio Makk, and is out of the Silver Buck mare Little Bold Belle. She will be retired to Hill ‘n’ Dale at the end of the year. John Velazquez will ride and break from post 1.
"She’s just a good, hard-knocking filly,” said Pletcher of Unbridled Belle, who finished third in last year’s Personal Ensign to Ginger Punch and second in 2007 to Miss Shop.
Darley Stable’s Sea Chanter broke a seven-race losing streak when taking the restricted Pearl Necklace Stakes July 12 at Belmont. She drew the rail.
With Flying Colors will make her first start for Besilu Stables and Pletcher after garnering a 2-4-1 record for Phipps Stable and Shug McGaughey. She won the Floral Park Heatherten Stakes in the slop at Belmont in June.
“We are very pleased with the way she’s been training,” said Pletcher. “She looks like she like a wet track, too, which might work in our favor this weekend."
Mark Stanley’s Swift Temper bagged the biggest win of her career in the 1 1/4-mile Del Cap and her second graded stakes of the season. Back in April the 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway
—Glasgow’s Gold, by Seeking the Gold
, won the Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne. A millionaire, Swift Temper has turned in three works at Saratoga in preparation for the Personal Ensign. Alan Garcia will ride for Dale Romans.
Elaine Jones’ Miss Isella defeated Swift Temper twice this year—both times at Churchill Downs—but this will be her first try stretching out to 10 furlongs. The 4-year-old filly by Silver Charm won the Louisville Distaff (gr. II) May 1 and the Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) six weeks later, both under Calvin Borel, who will have the mount once again for Ian Wilkes. Julien Leparoux was aboard when Miss Isella was runner-up to Seventh Street in the Aug. 2 Go For Wand Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.
“She’s always tried hard,” said Wilkes. "She’s always been an honest filly, and watching, you hope they mature that way. She’s gained confidence as she’s gotten older."
Andrew Rosen’s Icon Project also returns after a solid effort in the Del 'Cap. The improving 4-year-old filly by Empire Maker sailed to a 13 1/4-length romp in the June 20 New York Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont for her first graded stakes triumph. Leparoux rides for Marty Wolfson.
$400,000 Personal Ensign (gr. I, Race 10, 5:56 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Sea Chanter (KY), J Castellano, 116, T A Pletcher
2. Unbridled Belle (KY), J R Velazquez, 116, T A Pletcher
3. Morena (PER), J Lezcano, 116, M R Matz
4. Miss Isella (KY), C H Borel, 120, I R Wilkes
5. Weathered (NY), M J Luzzi, 116, K M Grusmark
6. Icon Project (KY), J R Leparoux, 116, M D Wolfson
7. Swift Temper (KY), A Garcia, 118, D L Romans
8. With Flying Colors (KY), E S Prado, 116, T A Pletcher