Unbridled Humor pressed a fast pace and maintained
a clear lead in the stretch to register a 1 ¾-length victory in the Grade 3,
$100,000 Noble Damsel on Sunday at Belmont Park.
Second outside longshot Twilight Memory through an opening quarter of
23.41 seconds, Unbridled Humor pulled to the lead midway along the backstretch,
opened a four-length advantage on the far turn, and was never threatened in the
stretch as Thai Haku rallied to finish second.
It was the first graded stakes win and fifth victory overall from six
starts for Unbridled Humor, who completed the one-mile distance on turf in
1:34.09 and returned $3.60 for a $2 win wager as the 4-5 favorite.
Unbridled Humor opened her career with four wins, including a triumph
in the Memories of Silver overnight stakes last November at Aqueduct, before
she suffered her first defeat in her most recent start, a seventh as the
favorite in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga Race Course on July 30.
In the Diana, Unbridled Humor led early as she tugged at her rider
before she faded in the stretch. This time, she rated well enough to hold off
the stretch runners.
“Ideally, [trainer] Graham [Motion]
would have liked to seen her covered up, but with the lack of speed in the race
that was going to be difficult,” said winning jockey Ramon Dominguez, who
was aboard the 4-year-old filly for the first time in her career. “I just
took a long hold. She was eager, but within reason. Turning for home, she
switched leads on her own and she picked it up pretty nicely. I’m very
happy with her. Typically, horses tend to relax more when they are covered up,
and that’s been the case with her. Even when she is not covered up, when she
has a couple of horses to look at, she seems to relax better. But she is pretty
versatile; you can do pretty much what you want with her.”
The victory was gratifying for
Motion’s team, which has coped with the filly’s personality quirks.
“She’s quite difficult,”
said Heather Craig, assistant to Motion. “We’ve had some issues
with her as far as getting to the gate, getting to the track. She was so well
behaved today, and Ramon did an excellent job. We were a little concerned that
she was that close to the lead and that they went that quick, but it seems as
long as you keep her happy, regardless of how slow or quick she goes, she runs
well. She’s an amazing filly. We’re happy to train at Fair Hill all
the time. It seems to really benefit her.”
Unbridled Humor, a Live Oak Plantation daughter
of Distorted Humor, has earned $177,520, including the $60,000 winner’s
share of the Noble Damsel purse.
Aquitaine was third, followed home by Aviate, Sea Road, Spring
Party, and Twilight Memory.