You say there’s no such thing as a "sure thing" in racing?
Then you haven’t heard of Unbridled Thoughts, a five-year-old mare bred in California who now is racing at Assiniboia Downs. In two years of racing at the Downs — 15 races in all — she hasn’t finished worse than second.
Which means you would have cashed every "place" bet you made on her. Fifteen place bets, 15 winning tickets. A rarity to be sure.
And the shocker is that despite her impressive record, in her last race on Aug. 16, which she won, she paid $10.40 to win and $6.80 to place. If you had bet $20 to place on every one of her races at the Downs, you would have collected $506 for your $300 in wagers.
What’s more, she doesn’t seem to mind changing barns — and she’s changed four times. On June 16, 2012, on her first start at the Downs, she won for trainer Ardell Sayler. Then trainer Jared Brown claimed her and she notched four firsts and four seconds. Then, this season, trainer Emile Corbel got three seconds before last year’s leading trainer, Shelley Brown, took her over and produced two wins and a second.
There’s just something about Assiniboia Downs that she likes — maybe it’s the prairie air, maybe it’s the footing on the track — because she doesn’t race this consistently when she goes down to Phoenix during the winter.
Being female has something to do with her consistency, as well, as evidenced by the remarkable performances of other female horses over the past decade. World champion sprinter Black Caviar recently retired in Australia after winning 25 races in a row. She’s now on her way to becoming a mom. Zenyatta was the toast of her home state of California after winning 19 straight races, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Peppers Pride, a mare who raced in New Mexico, won 19 races in a row before being retired in 2008. And a mare in Australia, Makybe Diva, accomplished the unheard-of feat of winning the biggest and toughest race in Australia, the Melbourne Cup, three years in a row by beating gigantic fields of horses.
So if anyone tells you that female horses just aren’t up to the standard of stallions, you’ve now got plenty of ammunition to shoot them down — and maybe some money in your pocket, too, if you’re at the Downs next time Unbridled Thoughts races.
With a dozen days of live racing remaining (the meet ends Sun., Sept. 22), you should still have a couple of chances to catch her in action. Racing continues Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and holiday Labour Day at 1:30 p.m.