05/05/2006 12:00AM

Unbridled Sidney best in Mamzelle


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As expected, a fast early pace developed in Thursday's $113,600 Mamzelle Stakes at Churchill Downs. It just proved to have little effect on those establishing the fractions.

Unbridled Sidney and Very Vegas, the two early leaders, dominated the Mamzelle, a five-furlong turf dash, with the former edging past the latter in the final stride to notch a nose victory. Unbridled Sidney paid $9.80.

The five-furlong course record holder at Churchill Downs, frontrunning Unbridled Sidney uncharacteristically found herself off the pace early, a half-length behind Very Vegas, who had shot from the lead from the rail. But she kept the pressure up on the leader, never letting her get away.

Even to midstretch, Very Vegas appeared on her way to victory, but she tired in the closing strides, creating a winning opportunity for Unbridled Sidney.

"In that last jump they just barely got me," said Jesus Castanon, who rode runner-up Very Vegas. "That hurts. But that's racing, you know."

Unbridled Sidney, a 5-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song and a half-sister to $3 million-earning sprinter Caller One, won for the fifth time in 13 starts for owner Douglas Devenport and trainer Ronny Werner. She raced five furlongs on a firm course in 56.96 seconds, well off her record of 55.54 seconds, established in winning the Zenobia Empress Stakes at Churchill Downs last summer.

Winning jockey Robby Albarado said he was impressed by how well she performed after she was beaten to the lead for the first time on turf. "She showed a new dimension," he said.

Mocha Queen rallied fastest down the center of the track to grab third, a neck behind the runner-up and head in front of fourth-place Tara's Touch, who was squeezed back at the start.

9-5 favorite Nicole's Dream, making her first start since finishing 12th in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint Dec. 11, tired to eighth after chasing the top pair. She won the Mamzelle in 2004 and 2005.