03/19/2010 11:00PM

Devil May Care rebounds in Bonnie Miss


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - It has been well documented how loaded trainer Todd Pletcher is for this year's Kentucky Derby. Well, it appears he will be well-represented in the Kentucky Oaks as well.

Devil May Care, a Grade 1 winner in her second career start, rebounded from a disappointing 3-year-old debut with a 2 3/4-length victory in Saturday's at Gulfstream Park.

Amen Hallelujah, the 3-2 favorite, finished second, five lengths ahead of Joanie's Catch. They were followed in the order of finish by Switch, Christine Daae, and Danny's Friend.

It was the third win from five starts for Devil May Care, a daughter of Malibu Moon owned by David Greathouse's Glencrest Farm. As a 2-year-old, Devil May Care won her first two starts, including the Grade 1 Frizette.

After failing to handle the synthetic surface in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, Devil May Care finished fifth in the Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds where she misbehaved at the gate and never really got to run her race, according to Pletcher.

On Saturday, under John Velazquez, Devil May Care raced a close-up and ground-saving fourth behind Switch, Amen Hallelujah, and Christine Daae, who raced in close proximity through fractions of 23.68 seconds, 47.21, and 1:10.76 for the opening six furlongs.

Amen Hallelujah, under Julien Leparoux poked her head in front at the three-eighths pole and took the lead turning for home. But Velazquez moved Devil May Care between horses turning for home, tackled Amen Hallelujah in upper stretch, and drew clear despite veering in badly and switching to her wrong lead in the stretch. Devil May Care covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.06 and returned $16.20 to win.

"I was not surprised what she did today," Pletcher said. "She continued to train well, I didn't lose any confidence. Obviously, she was looking around. She made the lead so easily. She saw the outrider's pony at the eighth pole, the starting gate at the sixteenth pole. She runs like a horse that might need blinkers, but you'd hate to make a change off a race like that, but we'll think about it."

Pletcher confirmed that Devil May Care would make her next start in the Kentucky Oaks on April 30 at Churchill Downs. Three previous Bonnie Miss winners have won the Kentucky Oaks, the last being Dispute in 1993.

Rampart: Anxious moments, and a win

Unrivaled Belle always gives her connections and backers some anxiety before her races. More often than not, though, she provides some relief when the race is over.

Such was the case again in Saturday's at Gulfstream Park. After forcing jockey Kent Desormeaux to jump off in order to load into the starting gate, Unrivaled Belle uneventfully took Desormeaux one lap around Gulfstream Park's oval to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Rampart.

Champagne Eyes, a speed horse who didn't break well, finished second, a head in front of Miss Singhsix. The second- and third-place finishers are trained by Marty Wolfson. They were followed in the order of finish by Miss Match, Aurora Lights, Even Road, Don't Forget Gil and Bambera, who stumbled at the start and cut a tendon, according to trainer Pablo Andrade.

It was the fourth victory from seven starts for Unrivaled Belle, a 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song owned by Peter Vegso and Gary Seidler and trained by Bill Mott. It was her first victory in a graded stakes.

Unrivaled Belle has acted up before almost every one of her races, Mott said. Saturday, she was on her way to the starting gate when she froze, according to Desormeaux. The jockey jumped off the filly and she was led into the starting gate with Desormeaux then climbing aboard.

Desormeaux let Unrivaled Belle run away from the gate and she cleared the field around the clubhouse turn. She set fractions of 23.72 seconds, 47.43, 1:11.26, 1:36.25 and covered the mile in 1:49.36 with Champagne Eyes chasing her the entire way. Unrivaled Belle returned $5.80 as the favorite.

"I know she even broke a little tardy because of her antics, but I never attempted to slow her down; I just let her run," Desormeaux said.

Mott said Unrivaled Belle's pre-race antics were not too disconcerting.

"He's been off of her every time he's ridden her," Mott said. "It's just like she kind of wigs out right behind the gate. Once you get her in she's fine."

Mott said Unrivaled Belle would be considered for the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn on April 9 or the La Troienne at Churchill Downs on April 30.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch