Updated on 10/23/2015 10:40AM

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: Connections are confident in Unbridled Outlaw

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Trainer Dale Romans and Albaugh Family Stable already have Brody's Cause (above) for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but would also like to run Unbridled Outlaw.

Trainer Dale Romans and the Albaugh Family Stable already have one of the favorites for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in Brody’s Cause, who was a good-looking winner of last Saturday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland.

But Romans and the Albaughs have another 2-year-old they like just as much, if not more, in Unbridled Outlaw, and are hopeful that he too can get into the Juvenile field.

Unbridled Outlaw, a son of Unbridled’s Song, finished a troubled third in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs on Sept. 12, his third career start. In the Iroquois, Unbridled Outlaw was checked hard by Corey Lanerie leaving the three-eighths pole and then was steadied again behind a tiring horse at the five-sixteenths pole. He did overcome those obstacles to rally for third, three lengths behind the winner, Cocked and Loaded.

“You got to be a good horse to do what he did,” Romans said. “If he doesn’t get stopped the second time, he still wins.”

Unbridled Outlaw was highly regarded enough to be sent off as the 3-2 favorite as a first-time starter in a 10-horse maiden field on June 27 at Churchill Downs. He steadied soon after the start in that race and finished third. A month later, he won a maiden race at Ellis Park, defeating Rated R Superstar, who came back to win a maiden race, run second in the Iroquois, and third in the Breeders’ Futurity.

Jason Loutsch is the son-in-law of Dennis Albaugh, and those two head up the stable, which has graduated from being partners in Donegal Racing to buying eight to 10 yearlings of its own in each of the last two years. Loutsch said Unbridled Outlaw was Romans’s “top pick, and Brody’s Cause was 1-A. We really thought we had the best horse in the Iroquois. We’ve yet to have a clean trip with him. He has a tremendous amount of talent.”

Unbridled Outlaw ($330,000) and Brody’s Cause ($350,000) were purchased on the same day at the Keeneland September 2014 yearling sale. Brody’s Cause finished eighth in his debut at Ellis Park – a turf race – before winning a maiden race at Churchill Downs by 1 1/2 lengths at 33-1 odds. The horse he beat, Conquest Big E, came back to win his maiden at Keeneland the day before Brody’s Cause rallied from next-to-last to win the Breeders’ Futurity by a length.

“I thought he’d win by a little more than that,” Romans said of the Futurity. “If he had a good, clean trip, he would have. I’ve won that race three times, and he’s as good as any of the three.”

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Brody’s Cause and Unbridled Outlaw would give the Albaughs their first Breeders’ Cup starter since Miss Macy Sue finished third in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Miss Macy Sue is the dam of Liam’s Map, the Woodward Stakes winner bred by the Albaughs but sold at auction for $800,000. Liam’s Map is a contender for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

“We cheer like crazy for him,” Loutsch said. “We’re so proud of him and so proud of the mare.”

Two-horse (uncoupled) entries could be commonplace at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Owner Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill are planning to go with the undefeated Nyquist and Grade 1 Hopeful winner Ralis, who finished sixth in the Grade 1 Champagne in the slop at Belmont Park. Big Chief Racing and trainer Keith Desormeaux are eyeing the Juvenile with FrontRunner Stakes runner-up Swipe and Futurity runner-up Exaggerator.

◗ Champagne winner Greenpointcrusader will ship to Keeneland on Saturday, trainer Dominick Schettino said Wednesday.

“Just want to get him used to the track and work him over the track,” Schettino said.

Greenpointcrusader went back to the track at Belmont on Wednesday morning, jogging 1 1/2 miles.

“He came out of the race in excellent shape,” Schettino said.

◗ Irad Ortiz Jr. has committed to ride Iroquois Stakes winner Cocked and Loaded in the Juvenile, trainer Larry Rivelli said Wednesday. Ortiz was aboard for the colt’s win in the Tremont Stakes at Belmont in June.

On Monday, Cocked and Loaded worked six furlongs in 1:14.40 at Keeneland, where he won his career debut in April.

“Absolutely unbelievable,” Rivelli said of the work. “One of his best works since I had him. When they look like they’re galloping and they go in 1:14, I was excited. I wish the race was next week.”