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Untapable Set for Apple Blossom Rematch

In Apple Blossom, champion filly takes on rival who beat her April 10 at Oaklawn.

Champion Untapable will get another chance at Oaklawn Park and should be sharper in her second start of the season when she runs in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) Friday, April 10 at the Arkansas track.

The Apple Blossom will also be a test of class for Pin Oak Stable's homebred Gold Medal Dancer, who beat Untapable by half a length last time out in the March 14 Azeri Stakes (gr. II). The 5-year-old mare went gate to wire to earn the biggest victory of her career for trainer Donnie Von Hemel at odds of 8-1.

The 1 1/16-mile Azeri was the second outing of the year for Gold Medal Dancer, who finished third in the Feb. 15 Bayaoka (gr. III) at Oaklawn to start her 2015 campaign. Connections of the Medaglia d'Oro  mare were considering her retirement, but Von Hemel convinced them to keep her in training for another year. She rewarded that decision with first graded score, upsetting Untapable, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2014.

Gold Medal Dancer drew the 5 hole in the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom and will be ridden by Luis Quinonez while carrying 117 pounds.

Untapable made her first start for trainer Steve Asmussen since a victory in the Oct. 31 Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), a triumph that capped her season of six graded stakes wins in which her only loss came against males in the William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I).

The Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred was rank early in the Azeri and pressed the pace throughout as the 1-9 favorite in a field of five. The daughter of Tapit  moved within a head of Gold Medal Dancer in the stretch, but could not pass her rival and finished second by a half-length. John Velazquez, taking over for the retired Rosie Napravnik, was aboard that day and returns Friday.

Asmussen sent out Untapable for a half-mile work in :48 flat April 6, fastest of 18 at the distance, in preparation for the Apple Blossom.

Clockers caught Untapable's final quarter-mile in :23, galloping out five furlongs in 1:01 2/5.

"I thought she went beautiful," Asmussen said of the 121-pound highweight in the field of seven. "It looks like all systems go."

Other runners of interest include grade III winner Sugar Shock, who scratched from the Azeri because of track conditions, a good sealed track that was soon downgraded to sloppy; and recent allowance winner Pearl Turn, who will be the first grade I starter for young trainer Will Van Meter.

Allowance winners Call Pat, Glorys Last Chance, and Diva's Diamond complete the field. The latter was fourth in the Azeri last time out.

Entries: Apple Blossom H. (G1)

Oaklawn Park, Friday, April 10, 2015, Race 9

  • Grade I
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $600,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 5:10 PM (local)
11Call Pat (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRamon A. Vazquez113Brad H. Cox-
22Untapable (KY)John R. Velazquez121Steven M. Asmussen-
33Pearl Turn (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJesus Lopez Castanon113William B. Van Meter-
44Diva's Diamond (IL)M. Clifton Berry112Karl Broberg-
55Gold Medal Dancer (KY)Luis S. Quinonez117Donnie K. Von Hemel-
66Glorys Last Chance (KY)Terry J. Thompson111John L. Hall-
77Sugar Shock (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChanning Hill116Doug L. Anderson-