Awesome Maria remained perfect in four starts in 2011 and notched her first grade I win when she kicked away in the stretch to post an easy victory in the $250,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap June 18 at Belmont Park.
John and Glen Sikura's Serenading drew away from Morena in midstretch to win the the $160,950 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) by three lengths on Thanksgiving Day at Churchill Downs.
Grade I stakes winners Unbridled Belle and Swift Temper will carry top weight of 122 pounds apiece when they take on four rival fillies and mares in the Thanksgiving Day $150,000 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 26.
Multiple graded stakes winner Unbridled Belle will race once more and then be retired. She will be bred to top young sire Medaglia d'Oro.
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) at Aqueduct Oct. 31.
Millionaire mare Unbridled Belle, who has competed in some of New York's premier stakes races over the past four seasons, makes her final start in the Big Apple as the heavy favorite in the $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Oct. 31.
Music Note, as expected, swept to victory with jockey Rajiv Maragh in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I), the first of five grade I stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 3.
There was a time not too long ago that a meeting among the nation's best fillies and mares in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I) was a distinct possibility. But with Rachel Alexandra on the sideline, Zenyatta staying in California for the Lady's Secret (gr. I), and Icon Project now heading to Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I), the Beldame has lost some of its appeal.
A trio of contenders for the Oct. 3 $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) had their final tune-ups for the 1 1/4-mile race on a busy morning at Belmont Park Sept. 26.
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., reported on several of his top horses Sept. 25 from Aqueduct, including Paul Pompa Jr.'s Futurity (gr. II) winner D' Funnybone, whose next start is still up in the air.
Multiple graded stakes winner Unbridled Belle tops a trio of charges from the barn of Todd Pletcher in the $400,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I), Saratoga's Aug. 30 headliner.
Swift Temper dictated the pace for jockey Alan Garcia and kicked away in the stretch to post a surprisingly easy 2 1/4-length upset in the $1-million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) July 19 at Delaware Park.
Jason, Tom, and Rich Nilsen from Twinspires preview the Delaware Handicap (gr. II) at Delaware Park on July 19. Watch Video
Team Valor International's Unbridled Belle has been simply terrific in her career at Delaware Park, winning five of seven starts at the track including the 2007 Delaware Handicap (gr. II). On July 19, the 6-year-old mare will try to continue her domination when she takes on six rivals in the $1 million event.
- By Steve Haskin
Not to be a killjoy, but the fact is some of the best horses in the country will not be showing up at the Breeders' Cup this year.
Team Valor Stables' Unbridled Belle scored in the $125,700 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) for the second straight season, getting out to an early lead and running her six rivals off their feet to win by 11 lengths June 20 in the slop at Delaware Park.
Team Valor Stables' Unbridled Belle turned in an uncharacteristically poor performance in the Louisville Distaff (gr. II) last out, but her connections say they are hopeful the 6-year-old mare will rebound with a big effort in the $125,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III), a race that she won a year ago.
Grade I winner Unbridled Belle is scheduled to be bred this week to A.P. Indy and then be returned to training.
Godolphin Stable's homebred Little Belle will try to pick up where she left off this past spring at Keeneland and punch her ticket to the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) later this month when she battles 10 older rivals in the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I) Oct. 5 in Lexington.
Defending older filly and mare champion Ginger Punch will take another step toward defending her honors Sept. 27 when she takes on four rivals in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
There were many who questioned whether champion mare Ginger Punch would be able to stretch out to 10 furlongs, something she had never done before. In the $400,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 22 at Saratoga, the 5-year-old daughter of Awesome Again was grateful for the added distance, as she needed every last stride to pass Lemon Drop Mom.
On Aug. 22, Ginger Punch will try something she has never done -- go 10 furlongs for the first time in the $400,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. She will take on six rivals in the main track event.
Sensational 5-year-old mare Hystericalady added yet another item to her already impressive resume, and in the process insured her return to the Breeders' Cup with a four-length romp in the $1 million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) July 13 at Delaware Park.
A quality field of 11 fillies and mares will do battle in the $1-million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) July 13, but the 10-furlong event may come down to a superstars Hystericalady and Unbridled Belle, who have a combined eight graded stakes victories between them.
Team Valor Stable's Unbridled Belle successfully opened her 2008 campaign with a convincing victory in the $150,000 Obeah Stakes (gr. III) at Delaware Park June 14.
Last year, Unbridled Belle was coming off a nine-month layoff when she began her 4-year-old campaign and finished second in the Obeah Stakes (gr. III). The connections for the Broken Vow mare, off since finishing fifth in the Oct. 27 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), have chosen the same starting point again in 2008, as she will make her 5-year-old debut in the June 14 Obeah at Delaware Park.
By Jason Shandler - The late Saturday Pick 4 looks like an appetizing way to bet the World Championships.
It's not surprising a Todd Pletcher-trained filly was made the favorite for the Oct. 27 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), it's just a little surprising which one.
- By Claire Novak
Bentley Smith is well-connected when it comes to Breeders' Cup horses. As the son-in-law of the late Frances Genter, he managed Frances Genter Stable for nearly 30 years and sent Smile to a 1986 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) victory and, of course, watched Unbridled win the Classic (gr. I) in 1990.
- By Claire Novak
Unbridled Belle has lived in the shadow of her more illustrious stablemates for most of her career. But when Todd Pletcher trainees Rags to Riches, Indian Vale, Panty Raid, and Octave stepped out of the spotlight, the grade I-winning Broken Vow filly got her chance to shine.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, fresh off winning the Sept. 30 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park with English Channel, came back and won the next race, the Beldame Stakes (gr. I), with Unbridled Belle. Pletcher couldn't just settle for the win in the Beldame; he also saddled the runner-up, Indian Vale.
Trainer Bobby Frankel said he isn't thinking about the Breeders' Cup Championships as much as the Sept. 30 Beldame (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The Frankel-trained Ginger Punch, a 4-year-old, will be the favorite in the Beldame, a 1 1/8-mile dirt race for fillies and mares.
A patient ride from Javier Castellano helped Miss Shop to her first grade I victory with an impressive upset in the Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Aug. 24.
The last time Unbridled Belle raced at Saratoga, the bay filly was in the midst of a long and unfulfilling summer. An 11 1/2-length defeat in the 2006 Alabama (gr. I) was just one of three sound New York losses for the then 3-year-old filly, prompting Team Valor Stables and trainer Todd Pletcher to give her an extended rest.
All of the betting favorites fell apart, leaving Team Valor's lightly regarded Unbridled Belle to pick up the pieces, and she drew off smartly under Ramon Dominguez to win the $1 million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Delaware Park Sunday.
The fast improving Pine Island, second in grade I company in back-to-back starts, put it all together Saturday to win the $600,000 Alabama (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga Race Course.
Javier Castellano did not have an easy time choosing between Pine Island and Sugar Shake -- two fillies he had ridden to victories at the meet -- in Saturday's 90th running of the grade I Coaching Club American Oaks, the closing day feature of Belmont Park's spring/summer meet.
Team Valor Stable's favored Unbridled Belle won a hard fought head victory over Amandatude in the $100,600 Go For Wand Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Delaware Park Saturday.
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