Unbridled, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, charged between horses with about 50 yards to go and won the $3-million Classic on Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont Park on Saturday. The stirring victory came on the same track on which Unbridled finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.
After that race, critics charged that Unbridled could not win without the use of the diuretic Lasix. The 3-year-old colt, who suffers exercise-induced pulmonary bleeding, had made all of his other starts on Lasix, but New York does not allow racing on any type of medication.
Unbridled certainly didn't need anything Saturday as he charged between Ibn Bey and Thirty Six Red to win the world's richest horse race.
Unbridled, ridden by Pat Day, got to the end of the 1\ miles in
2:02/ for a one-length victory over Ibn Bey. Thirty Six Red, who set most of the pace, finished third, another length back and a nose in front of Lively One.
Unbridled, owned by 92-year old Frances Genter, was next-to-last in the 13-horse field shortly after the break. Day remained back in the pack with him until the final turn.
"I knew this horse had just one short run in him," Day said. "He showed tremendous courage, kicked in there and got the money."
The victory, which came as dusk began to fall, ending a brilliantly sunny day, was only the second for Unbridled in six starts since his Derby win on May 5.
Unbridled, coupled in the betting with Home At Last, who also is trained by Carl Nafzger, returned $15.20, $8.20 and $5.60 for his fourth win in 10 starts this year. The Ocala-bred colt, who also has three seconds and two thirds, earned $1,350,000 and boosted his 1990 bankroll to $3,718,149.
Unbridled became the fourth straight Kentucky Derby winner to win the Classic. In 1987, Ferdinand ('86 Derby winner) won the Classic; in '88 Alysheba ( '87 Derby winner) won; and in '89 Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer.
In the Breeders' Cup Mile, Royal Academy, ridden brilliantly by the great British jockey Lester Piggott, stormed past a host of horses on the outside in the stretch to won.
The 54-year-old Piggott, the holder of numerous British riding championships and winner of most of the world's great races, returned to riding recently after serving a one-year and one-day prison term for income tax evasion. He was released from prison two years ago.
Piggott, the winner of nine English Derbys and 29 European classics overall, had been training horses since getting out of prison. Those close to him said he quickly became bored with it, however.
"This is a marvelous day," said Piggott. "I didn't know whether anyone would give me a ride."
Royal Academy, who drew the No. 1 post, broke third, but Piggott quickly took him back to last, then came around horses for victory.
Royal Academy won the cavalry-charge finish by a neck over Itsallgreektome, who was three-quarters of a length ahead of Priolo. Steinlen, the defending champion, was another half-length back in the 13-horse field.
Piggott was given a rousing cheer as he jogged Royal Academy back to the winner's circle.
In the $2-million Breeders' Cup Turf, In The Wings stormed past With Approval nearing the wire and made his U.S. debut a winning one. It was the first start for In The Wings, of Britain, since he finished fourth Oct. 7 in the Arc de Triomphe at Paris.
The Arc winner, Saumarez, owned by hockey star Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall, owner of the Los Angeles Kings, finished fifth in Saturday's 11-horse field.
In the Breeders' Cup $1-million Juvenile Fillies race, Meadow Star, owned by Trans World Airlines board chairman Carl Icahn, flew away from 11 rivals in the stretch to win.
The unbeaten Meadow Star, a 1-5 favorite, moved into contention on the turn, flew around fillies in front of her and took the lead at the top of the stretch, then romped home for her seventh victory in 1:44 for 1/ miles.
The victory was worth $450,000, which will go to the Children's Rescue Fund, for homeless children, founded by Icahn.
Jose Santos, the winning jockey, later won aboard Fly So Free in the Juvenile for colts and geldings, his fifth career Breeders' Cup winner.