11/01/2010 4:03PM

Mott pleased with Unrivaled Belle heading into Ladies' Classic

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Barbara D. Livingston
Unrivaled Belle works five furlongs in 1:03 on Monday morning at Churchill Downs in preparation for Friday's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.

Unrivaled Belle has raced just once at Churchill Downs, a performance her trainer, Bill Mott, on Monday described as “probably her best” this year. She upset 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the La Troienne Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard on April 30.

Since then, Unrivaled Belle has finished second in three straight races, all to horses trained by Todd Pletcher, Life At Ten and Malibu Prayer. Those two rivals, along with Blind Luck, the Kentucky Oaks winner, will be part of the contingent Unrivaled Belle will have to get past when she runs in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on Friday night at Churchill Downs.

In preparation for the Ladies’ Classic, Unrivaled Belle worked five furlongs in 1:03 on Monday morning, according to Daily Racing Form. Mott is happy with the way she is coming into the race.

“It was a good work, very smooth, well on the bridle,” he said.

The Ladies’ Classic is at 1 1/8 miles, a sixteenth of a mile farther than the La Troienne. Unrivaled Belle has finished second at 1 1/8 miles in her last two starts, the Ruffian and the Beldame, but she won at that distance earlier in the year in the Rampart at Gulfstream.

“This is a sixteenth of a mile farther, so it adds another bit of a challenge,” Mott said. “She’s been a mile and an eighth her last couple of times, and she ran well. Maybe a mile and a sixteenth is her best distance. It’s the distance of the La Troienne. But she was coming on at the end of that race. She was very game.”

◗ Also working Monday at Churchill Downs was Acting Happy, who went a half-mile in 49 seconds for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. Havre de Grace, trained by Dutrow’s brother Tony, arrived here Monday from Maryland.