09/18/2011 5:35PM

Belmont: Unbridled Humor alters Motion's plan in taking Noble Damsel

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Unbridled Humor, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, collects her first graded stakes win in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel.

It wasn’t the trip her connections were hoping for, but it was the result the mattered most as Unbridled Humor became a graded stakes winner, taking Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel by 1 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park.

European invader Thai Haku rallied to be second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Aquitaine. Aviate finished fourth.

The win was the fifth from six career starts for Unbridled Humor, a daughter of Distorted Humor owned and bred by Live Oak Plantation and trained by Graham Motion.

The result enabled Unbridled Humor to bounce back from a seventh-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga in July.

In that race, Unbridled Humor found herself setting the pace, a position Motion felt might have comprised her chances. Going into the Noble Damsel, Motion was hoping to be able to get Unbridled Humor covered up behind horses, but it did not quite work out that way.

Under Ramon Dominguez, Unbridled Humor stalked Twilight Memory from second, but ended up taking the lead after a half-mile was run in 46.51 seconds. Racing a bit headstrong, Unbridled Humor opened up a sizeable advantage turning for home and could not be caught.

Unbridled Humor covered the mile in 1:34.09 over a firm Widener Turf course and returned $3.60 as the favorite.

“Ideally, Graham would have liked to have seen her covered up but with the lack of speed in the field that was going to be difficult,’’ Dominguez said. “I just took a long hold. She was eager, but within reason. Turning for home she switched leads, and she picked it up pretty nicely.’’

Earlier on the card, In Step took over from Smartys Emperoress approaching the quarter pole and galloped home an easy 3 1/4-length winner of the $60,000 Queen Tutta Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

In Step, a $1 million daughter of Unbridled’s Song purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable as a yearling, ran seven furlongs in 1:21.34 over firm turf and returned $12.60. Jose Lezcano rode the winner for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

* Cornelio Velasquez rode four winners on Sunday’s card - Beautyinthepulpit ($11.20), Singn On Themoon ($8.90), Green Monster ($12.20), and Hoopskirt ($8).

Velasquez’s four-win day came one day after Javier Castellano rode four winners on Saturday’s card.