Untapable takes on 5 in the Azeri.<br><a target="blank" href="http://photos.bloodhorse.com/BreedersCup/2014-Breeders-Cup/Distaff/i-fHmhk5m">Order This Photo</a>

Untapable takes on 5 in the Azeri.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Untapable Makes Season Debut in Azeri Stakes

Last year's 3-year-old filly champion faces five opponents in 1 1/16-mile test.

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Untapable, the 3-year-old filly champion and winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), makes her long-awaited 4-year-old debut in the $300,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 14.

The daughter of Tapit Fun House, by Prized is coming off a sensational 3-year-old campaign in which she captured six of her seven starts, including grade I scores in the Kentucky Oaks, Mother Goose Stakes, and Cotillion Stakes, in addition the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Her only defeat came against colts in the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I).

"She is doing extremely well and this race will be a good starting point to her 4-year-old campaign," trainer Steve Asmussen said, after watching the filly gallop one mile over a muddy track at the Arkansas oval March 11.

Untapable, who also was bred by Winchell Thoroughbreds, will break from the rail and will be ridden by John Velazquez, who replaces the filly's regular rider from 2015, Rosie Napravnik.

Only five others showed up to face the champ and there is not an abundance of speed, although Sugar Shock, breaking from post 3, did win last year's Fantasy Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn gate-to-wire and set the pace in the Kentucky Oaks before tiring badly. The daughter of Candy Ride  prepped for the Azeri by winning the six-furlong American Beauty Stakes at Oaklawn, rallying from eighth.

One filly with good tactical speed is Gold Medal Dancer, who is coming off a solid third, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Feb. 15.

But the filly most likely to upset Untapable is Bayakoa winner Mufajaah, who also closed strongly to win the 1 1/16-mile Pippin Stakes at Oaklawn Jan. 17, when she came from 10 lengths back to win going away by three lengths. Also a daughter of Tapit, owned by Shadwell Stable, Mufajaah has won four of her six starts at Oaklawn.

Untapable and Mufajaah both carry topweight of 122 pounds, conceding five pounds to the rest of the field.

Rounding out the field are Flashy American, second by a neck in the Bayakoa, who has earned over $680,000 in her career; and Diva's Diamond, a well-beaten fifth in the Baykoa.

Entries: Azeri S. (G2)

Oaklawn Park, Saturday, March 14, 2015, Race 7

  • Grade II
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 4:21 PM (local)
11Untapable (KY)John R. Velazquez122Steven M. Asmussen-
22Diva's Diamond (IL)M. Clifton Berry117Karl Broberg-
33Sugar Shock (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChanning Hill117Doug L. Anderson-
44Gold Medal Dancer (KY)Luis S. Quinonez117Donnie K. Von Hemel-
55Mufajaah (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEmmanuel Esquivel122Daniel C. Peitz-
66Flashy American (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateChris Landeros117Kenneth G. McPeek-