Untapable Cruises in Rachel Alexandra
by Claire Novak
Date Posted: 2/22/2014 6:12:38 PM
Last Updated: 2/27/2014 7:08:57 PM

Untapable (left) makes her move in the Rachel Alexandra.
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Photo: Alexander Barkoff/Hodges Photography

Add Untapable to the list of impressive Tapit   homebreds campaigned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and trained by Steve Asmussen this season.

Less than one week after Winchell's Tapiture took the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park to declare himself a serious contender on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Untapable galloped onto the scene for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) when she romped by daylight Feb. 22 in the $200,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (VIDEO).

The impressive 9 1/2-length victory over a 7-horse field that included adjudged Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Ria Antonia (fourth) and Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) victress Streaming, sets the 3-year-old up for the next step of the Fair Grounds filly series, the March 29 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). Five of the last nine Fair Grounds Oaks winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Oaks.

"That is definitely the plan," Asmussen said when discussing future options for Untapable, who last year won the Pocahontas Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old straight off her debut maiden score.

After taking the Pocahontas, Untapable went to a nondescript eighth in the Juvenile Fillies, but made a decent recovery at the end of her season with a third-place finish in the Hollywood Starlet in her first time on Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park. She has been training at Fair Grounds for her season debut, for which she was sent off at odds of 4-1.

"The filly acted extremely well today...we just think she's a better mare than she was last year, and she showed it today," Asmussen said. 

Jockey Rosie Napravnik was in the irons aboard Untapable in her first start of the season. She allowed longshot Army and 3-2 favorite Streaming to carry on to the front while finding Untapable a good spot clear in fourth behind and outside Express Model. A sharp Streaming set the quarter in :24.01, but Army came back to her inside to hit the half-mile mark in :47.91, edging just in front of Streaming with three furlongs to go.

Back on the outside Napravnik said "go," and Untapable ranged up from her stalking position with a four-wide bid through three-quarters in 1:12.72. She swept to the lead and straightened out full of run, launching into a new gear after a tap of the left-handed whip. A sizable advantage was opened in the final furlong, as the bay filly increased her advantage while eased up as the rider pleased.  

"I had lots of confidence in her," Napravnik remarked. "Steve has done an excellent job with her. It was a wide trip which just goes to show you how much the best she was."

Final time for the 1 1/16-mile test was 1:43.64 on a fast track. Untapable, who carried 122 pounds as did Ria Antonia and Streaming, returned $10.80, $5.20, and $3.60. Got Lucky brought $4 and $3.20, a neck ahead of Shanon Nicole ($5), while Ria Antonia, Express Model, Army, and Streaming completed the order of finish.

Bred in Kentucky out of the grade II-winning Prized mare Fun House, Untapable now has three wins and a third from five career starts for earnings of $308,125. She earned 50 points from the Rachel Alexandra victory on the road to the Kentucky Oaks.



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