05/18/2009 11:00PM

Unbridled's Heart returns

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ELMONT, N.Y. - With the older male stakes division wafer thin, opportunity knocks for anyone capable of putting up triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures going long. Given those circumstances, it's up to Unbridled's Heart to seize the day as he makes his second start of the year in Thursday's eighth race, a $44,000 first-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles.

Darley Stable paid $1 million for the son of Unbridled's Song, but he was a well-kept secret when unveiled here last May by Tom Albertrani. Lightly regarded at nearly 14-1, he romped by 10 lengths and earned a 101 Beyer.

Unbridled's Heart was 4-5 for two follow-up starts. He broke awkwardly in an overnight stakes as eventual Dwyer winner Mint Lane got loose, and then dropped a close decision to Acai, who subsequently was beaten a neck in the Pennsylvania Derby.

Unbridled's Heart would have won his 4-year-old bow easily at Gulfstream, but for the fact that his stablemate Ea drew in from the also-eligibles.

"The racing office called to ask if I wanted to run them both," Albertrani recalled. "I said, 'Give me five minutes,' and I looked in the condition book and there wasn't another race for two months. Since we put Ea on dirt, he's got a win and three seconds."

While Ea has come back with runner-up finishes in the $615,000 Charles Town Classic and the Grade 3 William Donald Schaefer, Unbridled's Heart makes his first start in 11 weeks.

"He stumbled out of the gate and grabbed the back of a tendon really bad - it needed seven or eight stitches back there," Albertrani said. "He didn't do any damage to the tendon, but it was a nasty laceration and finally it started healing up completely."

Unbridled's Heart, whose average Beyer is 96, drew outside in a field of six that includes Stevil, Street Move, Warm Shower, Two Brash, and American Dance. None among them has run anything better than an 84, except Stevil, who was far behind Unbridled's Heart in two prior meetings.

* The early pick four kicks off with the first 2-year-old maiden race of the meet. The five-furlong dash, carded as race 2, drew two colts and four fillies and is book-ended by a pair of recent sales graduates: No Shenanigans ($250,000 at Ocala) drew the rail for Todd Pletcher, and That's How I Roll ($235,000 at Fasig-Tipton) drew the outside for Kiaran McLaughlin.