10/30/2009 11:00PM

Unbridled Belle goes out a winner


There were no tricks, only the treat of watching Unbridled Belle outclass seven other fillies and mares in Saturday s 15th running of the Grade 3, $109,000 at Aqueduct.

Carrying top weight of 120 pounds, mostly in the form of Ramon Dominguez, Unbridled Belle was coming off a pacesetting effort in the Beldame against multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Music Note, and looked like the main speed. Nevertheless, Dominguez was content to tuck the favorite along the rail into the clubhouse turn behind the trio of Weathered, Way With Words, and Manitoba Miss.

Weathered established a moderate tempo of 24.74 and 49.19 seconds, and continued to lead midway around the far turn after six furlongs in 1:12.84. At that point, Unbridled Belle was maneuvered off the inside to the three-path while gathering momentum.

Unbridled Belle struck the front once straightened away, and edged clear coming to midstretch after a mile in 1:37.36. She was under mild urging to score by four lengths, completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.20 over a fast main track.

It wasn t really the trip we thought she would get, said Dominguez. She broke a little on the slow side, so I just tucked her behind horses. She was on the bridle the whole way. She gave me a good run in the last eighth and I just wrapped up on her.

Unbridled Belle, trained by Todd Pletcher, paid $3for her eighth victory from 24 starts, and increased her earnings to $1,893,728 for Team Valor International. The 6-year-old Unbridled Belle is scheduled to make the final start of her career in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26.

You always want to see them finish up their careers well, said Pletcher. She s been good to us for a number of years. It s nice to see her doing as well as she is at the moment.

Weathered, a New York-bred filly running back a week after finishing seventh against males in the Empire Classic, saved the place as the second choice. Way With Words, stayed on for third over Nicksappealinglady.