Unbridled Belle, as expected, made her final start in New York a winning one, drawing off to an easy four-length victory as the prohibitive choice in the $109,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Aqueduct Oct. 31.
Team Valor International's imposing 6-year-old daughter of Broken Vow is to start once more, in the Nov. 26 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, before being retired, according to winning trainer Todd Pletcher.
“She’s doing great," Pletcher said. "You always want to see them finish up their careers well. She’s been so good to us for a number of years. It’s nice to see her doing as well as she is at the moment. Hopefully, we can get one more.”
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, the grade I winner Unbridled Belle turned in her usual professional effort in the 1 1/8-mile Turnback the Alarm while clearly the class of the eight-horse field.
Settled into fourth soon after the start while racing a few lengths off a pedestrian pace established by second choice Weathered, the favorite advanced on the final turn while slightly wide. She gradually wore down Way With Words and Weathered in the lane to gain the advantage at the eighth pole and edged away from there to win under easy handling. She clocked a final time of 1:50.20 over a track labeled fast.
“It wasn’t really the trip we thought we would get," Dominguez said. "I just wanted to come away nice; if she was in front I wasn’t going to be surprised. She broke a little on the slow side, so I just tucked her behind horses. She was on the bridle the whole way. She gave me a good run and in the last eighth I just wrapped up on her.”
A lifetime earner of $1,893,728 with the victory, Unbridled Belle carried top weight of 120 pounds and spotted her rivals between five and eight pounds.
Weathered, who led through quarter-mile fractions of :24.74, :49.19, and 1:12.84 for jockey Mike Luzzi, held second by 1 3/4 lengths over Way With Words and Eddie Castro.
In her previous start, Unbridled Belle ran a stubborn second to Music Note after setting the pace in Belmont Park's Beldame (gr. I), a race she won in 2007 for her only grade I victory. Her career record improved to 8-4-4 in 24 starts. The Turnback the Alarm victory was worth $65,400.
Bred in Kentucky by Joe Sutton and Laszlo Makk, the winning dark bay mare is out of Little Bold Belle, by Silver Buck.
Sent off as the 1-2 pick, Unbridled Belle paid $3, $2.40, and $2.10. The New York-bred Weathered, on a one-week turnaround after her seventh-place finish in Belmont's Empire Classic for trainer Karl Grusmark, returned $3.70 and $2.80 and completed a $10 exacta. New Jersey-bred Way With Words was $3.40 to show.
Nicksappealinglady, Manitoba Miss, Sweet and Flawless, Dean Henry and Dattts Our Girl completed the order.