John C. Oxley’s Unbridled Reward has been made the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s $100,000-added Debutante at Churchill Downs and Norman
Casse, Churchill assistant to father and trainer Mark Casse, thinks that her class can help her prevail against a field of five other promising 2-year-old fillies.
“Temperament wise, she’s a
really cool individual,” Casse said. “For a 2-year-old filly she has a
lot of class to herself and I think that’s going to be the difference on Saturday. She just seems so mentally mature
already that we can throw pretty much anything at her.”
Unbridled Reward took her
maiden debut by an impressive 7 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs going 4 ½
furlongs on May 30. She is one of three 2-year-old winners for the Casse
barn this meet, second to only trainer Steve
Asmussen, who has five.
“There’s obviously a lot of
preparation involved with these 2-year-olds,” Casse said. “We’re really
lucky that in our Churchill division, when we get horses sent in from
Ocala, they’re pretty much already ready
to go. Then it’s just a matter of fitness and making sure they’re ready
from the gate.
“She’s shown her hand early
that she’s really talented. I like to match all the 2-year-olds up and
sort them out by letting them work together and she definitely stands as
one of the best ones we have and her first
race proved that.”
Unbridled Reward was one of three winners on May 30 from Spendthrift Farm’s freshman sire Warrior’s Reward’s first three starters (the others were Liatris at Belmont Park and Strawberry Baby
at Lone Star Park).
sire is a freshman stallion who has gotten off to a really good start,”
Casse said. “I think he won three races all on the same day with his
first three starters so he should be an interesting stallion prospect,
and anytime you can get a horse out of an Unbridled mare we can expect
it to be a pretty good race horse.”
Unbridled Reward has recorded one workout since her debut victory, clocking a half-mile in :50.60 on June 14.
“She’s had one work since
she ran which was really visually impressive; the time wasn’t great
because they went off slow but when the rider asked her to run, she
exploded, so she’s ready to run again,” Casse said.
The six-furlong Debutante will be run as the eighth of 10 races on Churchill’s Saturday card with an approximate post time of 4:18 p.m.