Ridden for the first time in nearly a year by jockey Fernando Jara, Fort Loudon was always alert through the early stages of the Unbridled, tracking the early leader Hello Prince from third through an opening quarter-mile that went in :22.
As the sophomore sprinters journeyed down the backstretch, Fort Loudon quickly sprung to the front, grabbing a lead that he would never relinquish through a half-mile split of :45.53. The colt then opened up a clear lead on his beaten foes, and coasted under the wire a comfortable winner.
“When he made the lead, I was a little worried that it was too soon,” Jara admitted. “But he was still strong in the end, and was strong through the wire. And even when I was pulling him up, he still wanted to go.”
“He’s not as mature as he is going to be,” winning trainer Stanley Gold said. “But right now I see him gaining weight and getting bigger and doing everything right, so hopefully we’ll go on and have a big second half of the year.”
Fort Loudon returned $3.20 and $2.10 as the popular winner while Bahamian Squall, who was futile in pursuit of the winner, returned $2.60 for second. There was no show wagering available on the race.
Completing the order of finish was Angelofdistinction, Hello Prince, and Indirectly A. P.
Fort Loudon has now prevailed in six of 13 starts, with a lifetime bankroll of $475,485.
The Unbridled Stakes serves as a prep race for the Grade 3 Carry Back, to be run July 7. Three of the last four winners of the Unbridled Stakes, Golden Spikes, Coffee Boy, and Indiano, went on to win the Carry Back.