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Untapable Looks for Shuvee Relief

Eclipse Award winner takes class drop Aug. 2 off runner-up finish in gr. I June 6.

Champion Untapable will seek class relief in the $200,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. III) Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course, coming off a five-length loss to Wedding Toast in the June 6 Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Shuvee marks the Saratoga debut of last year's champion 3-year-old filly, who in 2014 suffered only one loss—against the boys in the grade I William Hill Haskell Invitational—in seven starts, a record that included her Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) victories.

Owned by Ron Winchell and trained by Steve Asmussen, the Tapit  filly has won a single start in three races as a 4-year-old, taking the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park after finishing second in the Azeri (gr. II) there, both of those races coming before her Ogden Phipps runner-up finish in New York.

Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be aboard Untapable when she leaves from post 4, giving from three to nine pounds to her five rivals as the 123-pound highweight.

Most accomplished of the rest is Stopchargingmaria, who will tote 120 pounds including Javier Castellano from post 5. The Tale of the Cat  filly has three wins and a second from four starts at Saratoga; she broke her maiden at first asking there in 2013, returned to finish second in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I), and the following year, put together back-to-back victories in the Coaching Club American Oaks and the Alabama, both grade I stakes. Most recently she won the Allaire du Pont Distaff (gr. III) May 15 at Pimlico Race Course.

"She's doing well," reported Todd Pletcher, who trains Stopchargingmaria for Town and Country Farms. "We're very happy with her and her last breeze (a bullet half-mile in :47.03 July 26). She seems to be in good form. We were planning on running her in the Ogden Phipps, but she got a little sick before the race. Her two biggest wins have been here, and she's 3-for-4 here and was second in another start. She seems to enjoy Saratoga."

Hall of Fame trainer Carl Nafzger will be saddling his first starter at Saratoga since 2013 and only the second since 2011, when he sends out Jim Tafel Racing's Tiz Windy, most recently third in the June 13 Fleur de Lis (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

Tiz Windy won the Indiana Oaks (gr. II) in 2014, but has yet to find the winner's circle as a 4-year-old. Prior to the Fleur de Lis, the Tiznow  filly was fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in the La Troienne (gr. I) at Churchill and also was a close-up fifth in the Hiliard Lyons Doubledogdare (gr. III) at Keeneland.

"She runs hard every race," Nafzger said. "In my opinion, she always runs well and has never had a bad race."

Julien Leparoux will ride Tiz Windy from the 6 hole under 117 pounds.

Joining the fray as well will be Joseph Shields' consistent House Rules, no worse than third in six stakes starts this year, including victories in the Top Flight Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Rampart (gr. III) and Belle Harbour, both at Gulfstream Park.

Carrying 118 pounds including Junior Alvarado, House Rules will leave from post position 3.

Rounding out the field are French import Privet Hedge, making her North American debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, and Imposing Grace, who earlier this year won the Sand Dollar Stakes at Gulfstream.

Entries: Shuvee H. (G3)

Saratoga Race Course, Sunday, August 02, 2015, Race 10

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 6:07 PM (local)
11Imposing Grace (KY)Rafael Manuel Hernandez114Lars Becdelamotte-
22Privet Hedge (KY)Jose Lezcano115William I. Mott-
33House Rules (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJunior Alvarado118James A. Jerkens-
44Untapable (KY)John R. Velazquez123Steven M. Asmussen-
55Stopchargingmaria (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano120Todd A. Pletcher-
66Tiz Windy (KY)Julien R. Leparoux117Carl A. Nafzger-