Unbridled Becomes Fifth Florida-bred Kentucky Derby Winner


1990 – Francis A. Genter Stable Inc.’s Unbridled became the fifth Florida-bred to win the Kentucky Derby while creating one of the more memorable moments in the history of Derby telecasts.

With jockey Craig Perret aboard, Unbridled raced in eleventh early in the field of 15 as Florida-bred Mister Frisky blazed the first quarter mile in :22 3/5. Summer Squall and Pat Day started to make their move around the far turn and took the lead before Unbridled came up to challenge as they made their way into the stretch. Producing the fastest final quarter mile (:24 2/5) since Secretariat in 1973, Unbridled shot the lead in mid-stretch then drew clear to win by three-and-a-half lengths in 2:02 on the track labeled good.

ABC Sports used a relatively new technology at the time to record trainer Carl Nafzger and the 92-year-old owner Frances A. Genter during the race. Nafzger called the action for the diminutive Genter because afternoon glare had blurred the television screen in their box.

“He’s taken the lead,” Nafzger yelled. “He’s on the lead, Mrs. Genter. He’s going to win. He’s going to win. He’s going to win. He’s a winner. He’s a winner, Mrs. Genter.”

Nafzger embraced Genter as Unbridled passed under the wire, kissed her and said, “You won the Kentucky Derby. Oh, Mrs. Genter, I love you.”

Unbridled paid $23.60 to win with Summer Squall holding on for second. Pleasant Tap was third.

Unbridled finished second to Summer Squall in the Preakness (G1) and fifth in the Belmont (G1) won by Go and Go before winning an allowance race at Arlington in August. He finished second to stablemates in both the Grade 1 Secretariat won by Super Abound at Arlington and the Grade 1 Super Derby won by Home at Last at Louisiana Downs before winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Belmont Park to finish the year. He would be named the Eclipse Award-winning champion 3-year-old of 1990.

Unbridled retired at the end of 1991 after finishing third to Black Tie Affair (Ire) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He remains the fifth richest Florida-bred of all time with earnings of $4,489,475 from eight wins, six seconds and six thirds from 24 starts.

Bred by Tartan Farms Corp., Unbridled was by Fappiano out of Gana Facil, by Le Fauleaux, making him a half-brother to 1991 Wood Memorial (G1)-winning Florida-bred Cahill Road.

He became an influential sire of sires at Claiborne Farm, producing the winners of all three Triple Crown races (1996 Derby-winner Grindstone, 2000 Preakness-winner Red Bullet and 2003 Belmont-winner Empire Maker.). He is the last Derby winner to sire a Derby winner (Grindstone) and one of only 12 to do so. He sired champions (Anees, Banshee Breeze and Smuggler) and millionaires Eddington, Exogenous, Grindstone, Niigon, Red Bullet, Unbridled’s Song and Unshaded. He produced 38 stakes-winners, of which 10 were Grade 1 winners. He is also the broodmare sire of Tap Your Heels, the dam of the influential sire Tapit and the great grandsire of Triple Crown-winner American Pharoah, by Pioneerof the Nile, a son of Empire Maker. American Pharoah gave Unbridled the honor of four generations of Triple Crown race winners.

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