Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Acapulco shrugged off early pressure from Calypso Run and Amarachi and drew off for a 3 ½-length victory over Late Spring to win Saturday’s sixth running of the $63,433 Unbridled Sidney for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by Robby Albarado, Acapulco covered the five furlongs on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :57.47.
Acapulco was joined on the front end in the run down the backstretch by Amarachi and Calypso Run as the trio zipped through the first quarter of a mile in :22.55. On the far turn, Amarachi was the first one to back out and at the top of the lane Acapulco spurted away from Calypso Run and never was threatened the rest of the way.
The victory was worth $39,480 and boosted Acapulco’s bankroll to $249,374 with a record of 5-3-1-1 that includes a victory last June at Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary Stakes (Group II).
The lone 3-year-old in the field, Acapulco is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Scat Daddy out of the End Sweep mare Global Finance.
Acapulco returned $4, $2.80 and $2.10. Late Spring, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $3.40 and $2.20 and finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Lindisfarne who paid $2.20 to show under Florent Geroux.
It was another four lengths back to Calypso Run in fourth with Fonepferesh (IRE) and Amarachi following in order.
Ward plans on sending Acapulco to Royal Ascot in England to make a start in either the King’s Stand on June 14 or the Commonwealth Cup on June 17. Both races are Group I events.
UNBRIDLED SIDNEY QUOTES
WESLEY WARD, trainer of ACAPULCO (winner) – “She ran great. You couldn’t ask for anything better, especially with a little give in the ground today. She came back a little tired and that’s good. I was really concerned (about the Saturday morning rain). The other horse (Tesalina) would have stayed in if it was on the dirt, but I certainly didn’t want it to come off … I wouldn’t have known what to do.
“(Her jockey at Royal Ascot) will be either Ryan Moore or maybe Robby (Albarado) because he knows her so well; he does a lot of the work with her. We’ll see. Of course it will be Ryan’s call first because he’s contracted to ride (for Coolmore). But if they have another stallion in the race, he may be committed to (trainer) Aidan (O’Brien). It’s not my call but (Robby Albarado) is who I’d ask to use (if Ryan Moore) is unavailable. Robby has done a lot of work with her and rides her pretty good.”
ROBBY ALBARADO, jockey of ACAPULCO (winner) – “I just hope Ryan Moore rides another horse and then I’ll get to go (to Royal Ascot). I’ve worked her since she was a 2-year-old and before she’s ever run. Wesley (Ward) told me, ‘This might be the fastest 2-year-old you’ve ever been on.’ For Wesley to say that … you know, he’s had some pretty fast 2-year-olds. Boy, was he ever right. She’s special.
“Wesley told me to do whatever I wanted. When I got to the turn, I decided to nudge her just a bit and she just jumped in there.”