10/09/2001 11:00PM

Unbridled recuperating at home


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, who underwent two abdominal operations last month, is strong enough to spend days turned out in his paddock since returning to Claiborne Farm on Oct. 8.

A 14-year-old Fappiano stallion, Unbridled had been at the Hagyard Davidson McGee clinic since Sept. 21, when veterinarians determined that a three-foot section of his bowel was diseased and should be removed. Surgeons operated again on Sept. 27 to repair a hole at the bowel resection point that was allowing fluid to seep into the stallion's stomach and intestine.

"He's very contented, and he's gaining weight back," Claiborne manager Gus Koch said Wednesday. "He has a healthy hair coat on him, and he's bright and alert."

Koch said Unbridled spends most of the day turned out in his usual paddock at the Paris, Ky., farm and is on a special diet.

"He's getting beet pulp feed," Koch said. "It's what we fed to Mr. Prospector when he got older. It's easier to digest and easier on the colon."

Unbridled, winner of the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic, is advertised with a private fee, but no-guarantee seasons to him sold this year for $225,000.