10/29/2009 11:00PM

Unbridled Belle looks like her old self again

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Barbara D. Livingston
Unbridled Belle, winner of five stakes and $1.8 million, will probably run just twice more.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Just when it seemed like Unbridled Belle's best days were behind her, she put in a very solid performance when second in the at Belmont Park last month.

If able to replicate that effort, Unbridled Belle would be the horse to beat in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Aqueduct. The Turnback the Alarm, run at 1 1/8 miles, drew a field of eight and will go as race 9 on a 10-race card that also includes the for male sprinters.

Unbridled Belle has won five stakes, including the Grade 1 Beldame in 2007, in a 23-race career in which she has banked $1.8 million for Team Valor International. The Turnback the Alarm is likely to be followed by a start in the Falls City at Churchill Downs before she is retired. Several attempts to breed Unbridled Belle this year did not take, allowing her to race five times. Her 11-length win in the at Delaware Park was her best race this year.

Though Unbridled Belle finished third in the before her second to Music Note in the Beldame.

Trainer Todd Pletcher removed the blinkers from Unbridled Belle's equipment for the Beldame and the change seemed to work.

"Just trying to mix it up with an older mare," Pletcher said. "Don't know that she ever needed them, coming off the worst race of her career seemed like time to take them off."

In her two breezes since the Beldame, Unbridled Belle has given Pletcher the feeling she still is interested in running. "She's training as enthusiastically as ever," he said.

Unbridled Belle figures to use her speed from post 2. The late entry of Nicksappealinglady and Weathered could make things tough on Unbridled Belle early on as those horses seem to do their best running on or near the pace. Weathered, who is 2 for 3 over Aqueduct's main track, is entered back one week after finishing seventh against males in the .

An upset candidate could be Way With Words, who won two restricted stakes at Monmouth on dirt before finishing fourth in the on turf. Trainer Mary Eppler likes the fact the Turnback the Alarm is run around two turns, though the 1 1/8 miles "is an unknown because she's never tried it before," she said.

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