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.
“She’ll run here, and then in the Falls City (gr. II on Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs),” Pletcher said of the 6-year-old Unbridled Belle, who will then be retired. “She’s had what I would describe as an excellent career. Obviously, she’s had some big wins. She’s held her form over a long period of time."
Pletcher lists victories in Belmont Park's Beldame (gr. I) and the Delaware Handicap (gr. II) at Delaware Park, both in 2007, as Unbridled Belle's greatest races.
Unbridled Belle secured her only grade I win in the '07 Beldame. The daughter of Broken Vow escaped traffic on two separate occasions before defeating stablemate Indian Vale and eventual Eclipse Award winner Ginger Punch. It as one of several memorable efforts she gave in New York since her 3-year-old season in 2006.
In her most recent start, Team Valor International's Unbridled Belle set the pace in the Oct. 3 Beldame, but settled for second behind Music Note, beaten by 2 1/4 lengths.
Unbridled Belle, carrying top weight of 120 pounds, will break from post 2 in the 1 1/8-mile Turnback the Alarm. Ramon Dominguez, who has ridden her on numerous occasions, will be aboard once again. The dark bay has been installed as the 3-5 favorite.
With a career record of 7-4-4 from 23 lifetime starts, Unbridled Belle has earned $1.82 million.
Among her challengers in the eight-horse field is Chevalier Stable’s 4-year-old filly Weathered, who exits a disappointing seventh-place finish against New York-bred males in the $250,000 Empire Classic just one week ago at Belmont Park.
“It wasn’t really the plan all along (to run her back in one week), but I didn’t think she ran all that hard last time,” trainer Karl Grusmark said. “It’s not one of my favorite things to do, but she came out of that race really well, and this looks like the kind of race that she can do well in.”
Weathered loves Aqueduct, where she has won five of nine starts and never been out of the money. The daughter of Key Contender won a pair of stakes over the inner track earlier this year, including the Next Move (gr. III) on March 28.
“Unbridled Belle’s the tough one in there,” Grusmark said. “She’s a tough filly.”
George L. Schwartz's New Jersey homebred Way With Words won three stakes at Monmouth Park this summer for trainer Mary Eppler and gets back to dirt after a fourth-place finish in the Violet Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Meadowlands turf Oct. 10.
Dean Henry captured the Saratoga Dew over New York breds at the Spa Aug. 31 for trainer Tom Albertrani. The Lawrence Goichman-owned 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker broke her maiden at Aqueduct in February.
Completing the field are Dattts Our Girl, Sweet and Flawless, Manitoba Miss and Nicksappealinglady.
$100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III, Race 9, 4:12 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Dattts Our Girl (KY), A Garcia, 114, M A Hennig
2. Unbridled Belle (KY), R A Dominguez, 120, T A Pletcher
3. Sweet and Flawless (KY), R Maragh, 112, E R Reed
4. Weathered (NY), M J Luzzi, 115, K M Grusmark
5. Way With Words (NJ), E Castro, 115, M E Eppler
6. Manitoba Miss (ON), J Castellano, 113, G Weaver
7. Nicksappealinglady (FL), J Lezcano, 114, B Tagg
8. Dean Henry (NY), C H Velasquez, 114, T Albertrani