John Brunetti’s homebred Unbridled Mo has delivered back-to-back victories in 2017, first taking the G3 Houston Ladies Classic in January, and this Friday turning back Power of Snunner to score by three-quarters of a length in the G3 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland. The 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo, ridden to perfection by John Velazquez, covered 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:45.11 for trainer Todd Pletcher.
“She’s a fighter,” said long-time Pletcher assistant Ginny DePasquale. “I was sure she was going to dig in and try her best. We were really pleased with her. She’s been training very well.”
Scratched down to just a four-filly field, the Doubledogdare field broke from the gates in unison to go under the wire for the first time. Due to her outside post position, Unbridled Mo was forced four-wide around the early part of the first turn as all four fillies appeared to want a front-running trip. Nearing the seven-furlong marker, Velazquez decided to go ahead with Unbridled Mo just as Dear Elaine shot forward to take over the lead. Entering the backstretch, Dear Elaine had a 1 1/2-length lead against the rail over Unbridled Mo, out in the two-path. Lady Fog Horn was traveling in third, and Power of Snunner was fourth early on.
Dear Elaine set fractions of :23.61 and :46.77 early on, but Unbridled Mo moved up alongside her easily enough mid-way through the far turn. As soon as she reached the lead, Unbridled Mo began to dawdle a bit, losing her form and appearing to wait on the competition. Power of Snunner quickly came with a run on the far outside, briefly putting her head in front as the pair turned for home.
Racing down the short stretch to the first wire, Unbridled Mo put her attention back on running as she felt the pressure from Power of Snunner. Gamely, Unbridled Mo drew away from that rival, crossing under the wire about three-quarters of a length in front. Power of Snunner had to settle for second, and Lady Fog Horn came home third.
“When (Unbridled Mo) got to the lead, she started waiting,” Velazquez explained. “When the other horse (runner-up Power of Snunner) got to her, she put in a nice fight. It was her, just waiting, looking at the crowd and everything. Thank God the other horse came to her and made her run again.”
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Unbridled Mo is out of a winning daughter of Unbridled. The filly now has a trio of Grade 3 wins to her credit, two of which have come in her only two starts of 2017. Overall, Unbridled Mo boasts a record of six wins from eight starts, with earnings of over $ 500,000.
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