Unbridled’s Note heads a strong field of 14 in the Eddie D. Stakes (G3) at about 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course on opening day Friday.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Unbridled’s Note won last year’s Eddie D. at age three and was subsequently second, beaten a half length by Mizdirection in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Lightly raced this year, Unbridled’s Note has been idle since running eighth in the Grade 2, seven-furlong Churchill Downs Stakes on May 4. Prior to that, he was a game winner of the Joe Hernandez Handicap down the hill on Feb. 23 and was then second in the Grade 2, 6 ½ furlong Potrero Grande Stakes on April 6.
Owned by Mike McCarty, Unbridled’s Note has demonstrated that he can lay close or come from off the pace effectively. He’ll again be handled by Corey Nakatani, who has ridden him in each of his last six starts.
The race also marks the return of the popular California-bred gelding Caracortado. Winner of the Daytona Stakes (G3) in January of last year, Carcortado is bred, trained and owned in part by Mike Machowsky. Caracortado shows a steady series of drills for his return.
“He had lost that whole frog (an integral component of the foot that acts as a shock absorber and helps facilitate circulation) and it took a lot of time to strengthen and grow out properly,” Machowsky told Santa Anita Publicity. “There’s always going to be a little deformity to it because of the way it’s grown back, but we’ve been able to string together (several) works and it’s looking good now.”
Despite his lack of recency, Machowsky is bullish on Caracortado’s chances. “He’s trained unbelievable and he’s never been beaten off a layoff.”
In addition to Machowsky’s Lo Hi Stable, Caracortado is owned by (Don) Blahut Racing LLC, Kagele Brothers and Donkey Island Racing. Caracortado has $864,105 in earnings from an overall mark of 19-9-2-3.