New York bred Unbridled Command, a 7-1 shot, won his fifth race in a row
and became a Grade I winner in the process, taking the $250,000
Hollywood Derby, the final event of the three-day Turf Festival.
Owned by co-breeder Lewis Lakin and trained by Tom Bush, Unbridled
Command handled a class bump and a trip from his home state with aplomb.
The Hollywood Derby win was his sixth in 10 career starts.
A gray son of Master Command out of the Unbridled’s Song mare
Unbridled Betty, Unbridled Command completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:01.07.
The $150,000 payday increased his bankroll to $469,040.
Ridden by Castellano, Unbridled Command, who hasn’t lost since
finishing third in a New York bred allowance May 5 at Belmont Park, paid
$16, $7.20 and $6.
Outrun early while My Best Brother set the pace, Unbridled Command
began to improve his position while some four wide down the backside. He
moved into second approaching the stretch, easily took over from a
tiring My Best Brother with a little less than three sixteenths of a
mile remaining, drew clear and won by 1 ½ lengths.
Never worse than third in nine starts on turf, Unbridled Command is
undefeated in two races outside the state bred ranks. He won the Grade III Saranac Sept. 2 at Saratoga.
“I had a beautiful trip this time and everything worked out
perfect,’’ said Castellano. “I saw the horses started backing out and I
chose to go around and everything worked out perfect. I knew the closers
would show up down the lane, but I was able to get the jump on them.
This was my first time on this horse. I watched his race replays and I
was very impressed and really liked him.’’
Bush said Unbridled Command was to fly to Palm Meadows in Florida
later in the evening and will be pointed to a race at Gulfstream Park.
“He likes to track on the turns,’’said Bush. “He just matures from
race to race to race. I couldn’t dream of a horse developing any nicer
than this horse. He’s really gotten special.’’
Grandeur, the lukewarm 7-2 favorite after winning the Grade II
Twilight Derby in his U.S. debut Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, rallied for
second after being last of 14 for most of the 10 furlongs.
The Irish bred paid $4.80 and $3.60. Lucky Chappy, a 15-1 outsider, was a head back in third and returned $7.60 to show.
Garrett Gomez, who rode Grandeur, said the gray gelding had to alter
course turning for home. “It wasn’t the smoothest of trips,’’ he said.
“The winner snuck away from us.’’
Grandeur’s trainer, Jeremy Noseda, indicated the son of Verglas
could return in the Grade II, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, which is run
at 1 ½ miles, Dec. 15.
Rjwa was fourth, 2 ½ lengths behind Lucky Chappy and she was
followed by Power Foot, Summer Front, My Best Brother, All Squared Away,
Big Bane Theory, Handsome Mike, Golden Ticket, Smart Ellis, General
Logan and Speaking of Which.