Forever Unbridled, Tom’s Ready breeze at Saratoga
Edited Press Release
Grade 1 heroine Forever Unbridled and Grade 2 victor Tom's Ready, both being pointed to Grade 1s on Travers Day, August 27, breezed a half-mile over Saratoga's fast main track Sunday morning.
Charles Fipke homebred Forever Unbridled and G M B Racing's Tom's Ready each went four furlongs in :49, according to trainer Dallas Stewart. Forever Unbridled was given an official clocking of :49.95 while Tom’s Ready was assigned a time of :49.11.
Forever Unbridled is scheduled to run next in the $750,000 Personal Ensign Invitational (G1) while Tom's Ready is working toward the $500,000 King's Bishop Stakes (G1).
The Personal Ensign for fillies and mares three-years-old and up will be the first Saratoga start for Forever Unbridled, winner of the Apple Blossom Stakes (G1) in April at Oaklawn Park. The Unbridled’s Song filly is a full sister to Unbridled Forever, who captured the Ballerina Stakes (G1) and Shine Again Stakes at last summer’s Spa meet.
Forever Unbridled ran into traffic trouble down the stretch last out in the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) on the June 11 Belmont Stakes (G1) undercard but managed to get up for second, 2 1/2 lengths behind Cavorting.
"She worked great this morning," Stewart said. "She had a bad trip in the Ogden Phipps but ran good and was second, so here she is. We're just trying to pace it out and hit the Breeders' Cup. We want to be sound and ready to go."
Twelfth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) coming out of a runner-up finish in the Louisiana Derby (G2), Tom's Ready rallied from dead last to win the seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (G2) by 1 1/2 lengths, also on Belmont Day. He ran twice last summer at Saratoga, finishing fourth in his career debut and fifth in the Hopeful Stakes (G1).
"He came back great," Stewart said. "We're just spacing his races out. The horse ran all through the Louisiana Derby series, ran in the Kentucky Derby, we gave him a little bit of a break and brought him back Belmont Day. Now we'll give him a nice long break and try to win the King's Bishop with him and the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1)."
Stewart said Tale of Verve emerged well from Saturday's 1 1/8-mile allowance victory by a neck at odds of 17-1 over favored My Man Sam. Runner-up in the 2015 Preakness Stakes (G1) behind eventual Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, it was the first win for the bay colt since his maiden triumph last April at Keeneland.
"He's a beautiful horse. We'll just keep him two turns and space his races out, maybe run him one more time here. We'll figure it out," Stewart said. "It was a big step yesterday. Great race, he fought hard and beat a really, really nice horse. It was a great Saratoga race."
Another Fipke homebred, Tale of Verve ran six more times last year following the Preakness including off-the-board finishes in the Belmont Stakes, West Virginia Derby (G1), Travers Stakes (G1) and Oklahoma Derby (G3). He was fourth in a June 4 Churchill Downs allowance off a seven-month break.
"We gave him a break during the winter. He ran hard in the Preakness and we just kept going. I probably should have stopped a little bit. I think I learned something there. Those Triple Crown races, if they're not competing they need a break," Stewart said.
"He's such a nice horse, he's sound. We gave him the time off. They did a great job in South Carolina with him and sent him back to me. It looks like we're on the right road."
Forever Unbridled photo courtesy of Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography