February 6, 2023

Unchained Melody hits winning note in Mother Goose

Unchained Melody wins the Mother Goose Stakes (G2) under jockey Joel Rosario at Belmont Park on Saturday, July 1, 2017 (c) NYRA/Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography

Hidden Brook Farm and breeder Hare Forest Farm’s Unchained Melody grabbed command of the $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on Saturday and never looked back en route to a three-length victory.

Jockey Joel Rosario sat in the pilot’s seat as the Smart Strike lass set the pace through fractions of :23.62, :46.62, 1:11.38 and 1:36. Lockdown, the 2-1 favorite, ran near the rear of the seven-filly field on the backstretch after stumbling at the start. The bay miss angled off her inside run to rally five wide, drifted even farther out in the lane, and was forced to settle for second while easily best of the rest.

Moana followed in third by 6 1/2 lengths, with My Miss Tapit finishing out the top four another head back while a neck up on fifth-placer Vexatious. Lights of Medina and Spanish Harlem completed the order under the wire.

Unchained Melody paid $6.40 as the 2-1 second choice in the Mother Goose, which was her first try against stakes company. The Brian Lynch trainee broke her maiden at first asking on March 19 at Gulfstream Park before running second at Keeneland on April 19 in an allowance.

Both of those starts came at six furlongs, and the Kentucky-bred filly stretched out to 1 1/16 miles most recently to score by two lengths in an allowance/optional claimer at Belmont on June 1. She ran the same distance here in a final time of 1:42.45 over the fast main track to move her career line to 4-3-1-0, $233,400.

Unchained Melody is out of the Grade 3-winning Partner’s Hero mare Love Match and comes from the same female family as French champion Beau Prince.

MOTHER GOOSE QUOTES

Joel Rosario, jockey Unchained Melody, winner

“She broke on top and I thought there was going to be somebody on the outside of me and so we could track for a bit but she was so comfortable. I just let her sit where she was and she was going easy. She was enjoying the middle of the track, so I just kept her there where she felt most comfortable.

“I worked her in the morning the other day so I was able to get a feel for her and she moved very good.”

Brian Lynch, trainer Unchained Melody, winner

“She’s got such a high cruising speed and there didn’t look like there was going to be a lot of pace in the race, so we hoped she’d get comfortable on the lead. Not that those were slow fractions, she cracked out a half in :46, but she’s tough to get by, obviously.

“The ($600,000) Alabama ([G1] at Saratoga on August 19) would be the next step. We’ll give her some time and set her for that. I think she’s certainly stamped her card in that direction today.”