07/02/2007 11:00PM

Unbridled's Song still shining


LAS VEGAS - A champion at 3 when he won the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic in 1990, the late Unbridled has had many memorable stakes winners, including winners of all three Triple Crown races - Grindstone, Red Bullet, and Empire Maker.

Grindstone has been somewhat of a disappointment at stud, and the jury is still out on Red Bullet, whose first crop is just 3. Empire Maker is one of this year's freshmen sires, and expectations are very high for his runners, who are generally bred for the classics.

Unbridled was among the top stallions when he succumbed to colic at age 14 in 2001. In addition to Empire Maker, Grindstone, and Red Bullet, he sired champions Banshee Breeze, Halfbridled, Anees, and Smuggler.

But the one colt by Unbridled who caused more of a stir than all of them was Unbridled's Song - a member of Unbridled's first crop. Unbridled's Song won 2 of 3 starts at 2, including a victory over Hennessy in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but he came along a bit too late in the season and juvenile honors went to Maria's Mon, who won 4 of 5 starts, including the Champagne (where Unbridled's Song finished fourth in just his second start), Futurity, and Sanford Stakes.

Unbridled's Song won the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, but nagging foot problems compromised his season at 3 and he finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby (behind Grindstone) in what was a courageous effort considering his physical condition.

Because of his brilliance and unquestionable talent, there was always a buzz surrounding Unbridled's Song as a stallion. As expected, his foals showed speed and quality, and his first crop included Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine, the ultra-quick Fountain of Youth winner Songandaprayer, Australian Group 2 winner Grey Song, Even the Score, Griffinite, Extend, Unbridled Time, and Presently. Subsequent foal crops include stakes winners Splendid Blended, Magnificent Song, Marylebone, Domestic Dispute, Eurosilver, Forest Music, Last Song, Rockport Harbor, Seducer's Song, and Unbridled Sidney.

Last weekend, Unbridled's Song had his greatest day as a stallion when Octave won the Mother Goose Stakes and Political Force won the Suburban Handicap, both Grade 1 events at Belmont Park.

A strong favorite in the small field of four in the Mother Goose, Octave finally won a Grade 1 after chasing Dreaming of Anna to finish second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last year and running second in the Kentucky Oaks to her special stablemate, Rags to Riches, who defeated males in the Belmont Stakes.

Like so many Thoroughbreds who are given a chance to develop and race beyond age 3, Political Force has become a different animal with maturity while under the expert tutelage of Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens.

Political Force comes by his talent naturally. In addition to his sire, he is out of the multiple stakes winner Glitter Woman, who won the Ashland, Bonnie Miss, Davona Dale, and Forward Gal stakes at 3 and the Sixty Sails Handicap at 4. Political Force is closely related to Unbridled Elaine. Glitter Woman (Glitterman) and Unbridled Elaine (Unbridled's Song) are half-sisters, as both are out of stakes winner Carol's Folly. Carol's Folly is also the dam of Gwenjinsky (Seattle Dancer), the dam of three-time stakes winner Lead Story (Editors Note) - who triumphed in the Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap, Falls City Handicap, and Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap - and of stakes winner Capejinsky (Cape Town). Another daughter, Glory Glory (Honour and Glory), was stakes-placed. A prominent stakes winner from this female line is Hudson County, winner of the Bay Shore Stakes and Paumonok Handicap who ran second to Cannonade in the 1974 Kentucky Derby.

Unbridled's Song, now 14, is among the elite stallions, and he attracts the top-class mares that ensure future success. The following is just a brief list of some of his 2-year-olds to keep an eye on this year:

Halo's Verse - Filly is out of a full sister to two-time champion mare Ashado.

Inhaler - Colt is a half-brother to stakes winner Frost Giant and descends from champion Numbered Account.

Mapmaker - Colt's second dam is champion Flanders.

Rain Date - Filly is out of multiple stakes winner Missed the Storm.

Song of the West - Full brother to stakes winner Forest Music.

Spoken - Filly is out of a half-sister to Pulpit.

Tinca's Song - Filly is out of multiple stakes winner Catinca.

Unbridled Refrain - Colt is a half-brother to stakes winner Fortitude, and second dam is 2-year-old filly champion Outstandingly.

Unnamed colt (out of Goulash) - A half-brother to Ashado.

Unnamed filly (out of Win Crafty Lady) - A half-sister to stakes winners Graeme Hall, Harmony Lodge, Win McCool, and Win's Fair Lady.

Unnamed colt (out of Raging Apalachee) - A half-brother to champion sprinter Artax.