03/21/2006 12:00AM

Unbridled Belle set to win


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Todd Pletcher will be halfway around the world by the time Unbridled Belle starts in Thursday's ninth race at Gulfstream Park. That, however, shouldn't stop Pletcher from adding another victory to his meet-leading total in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. The race will be decided under entry-level allowance conditions for a $33,000 purse.

Pletcher is in the United Arab Emirates this week to saddle Host and Magna Graduate on Saturday's Dubai World Cup card, but appears to have left Unbridled Belle sitting on a winning effort in her third start of the meet and fourth of her career.

won her debut last fall at Laurel, rallying from off the pace to register an easy 3 1/4-length maiden special win at seven furlongs. A daughter of Broken Vow, she began her 3-year-old campaign with a tiring ninth-place finish as a 3-1 favorite going a mile on Jan. 13. Pletcher stretched her out a little farther for her next start, and Unbridled Belle responded with an improved performance, finishing third behind Saratoga Drive and Amandatude after stalking the pace.

Unbridled Belle has had a pair of works at Pletcher's main base at the Palm Meadows training center since her last start and appears ready for a career-best effort on Thursday. With regular rider John Velazquez also in Dubai for the World Cup, Rafael Bejarano has been given the call.

Pletcher's usual second-call rider, Chris DeCarlo, has taken the mount for trainer Rick Violette aboard Hundred Year Flood, who returns to the main track after tiring badly making her grass debut on Feb. 13. Before that she ran seventh, in front of Unbridled Belle, going a mile on Jan. 13. A daughter of Giant's Causeway, Hundred Year Flood displayed much potential winning her maiden by five widening lengths going 1 1/16 miles at Aqueduct in her 2-year-old finale.

finished in front of both Unbridled Belle and Hundred Year Flood on Jan. 13, but failed to duplicate that effort when she finished a tiring sixth under similar conditions three weeks later.

has run twice here this winter, finishing third and fifth in allowance races after unlucky trips.

Thursday's eighth race, also an entry-level allowance, is at 1 1/16 miles on the grass for fillies and mares and drew a full, well-matched field of 12. Top contenders include recent turf winner Keetoowah, the lightly raced List Price, and class-dropping Quick Queen.