Unbridled Forever prevails in Ballerina
An early contender for the 2014 Kentucky Oaks (G1), Unbridled Forever tailed off a bit at the end of last season, finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). She wouldn’t be seen in competition again until taking the Shine Again S. at Saratoga on August 5 going the Ballerina distance of seven furlongs, and that event set her up perfectly for Saturday’s Grade 1 affair.
Unbridled Forever broke from the 7 post and maneuvered over only slightly down the backstretch. Velazquez kept the bay lass well off the rail and in the back of the seven-filly field, which saw the scratch of likely favorite La Verdad earlier in the day due to inflammation in a hind leg.
That left Sarah Sis to set the pace, and the sophomore proceeded to do just that through splits of :23.10, and :46.04. All the while she was harried by Merry Meadow, Room for Me and Street Story.
It was still anyone’s race in the stretch, but then Unbridled Forever kicked into gear on the outside. The four-year-old easily ran down all rivals to stop the clock in 1:22.54 over the fast main track as the 3-1 second choice.
Kiss to Remember, another who stayed away from the speed duel in front, got up for second. Room for Me was best of the early runners in third. Dame Dorothy, the 6-5 favorite, wound up next-to-last on the wire.
Unbridled Forever earned just her second stakes victory in the Ballerina for owner/breeder Charles Fipke. The Dallas Stewart trainee took her maiden by 5 1/4 lengths and then added the Silverbulletday to her resume while making her sophomore debut in January 2014.
She then ran third in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), Kentucky Oaks and Acorn S. (G1) before finishing second in both the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and Indiana Oaks (G2) with an unplaced run in the Alabama S. (G1) sandwiched between the latter two.
Unbridled Forever photo courtesy of NYRA/Adam Coglianese/Lauren King