FAIR GROUNDS OAKS | PURSE: $450,000 | 3-YEAR-OLD | FILLIES | GRADE 2 | 1 1/16-MILES
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC's homebred Untapable continued to put on a show at Fair Grounds Saturday when romping home a 7 3/4-length winner of the Grade 2, $384,000 Fair Grounds Oaks under jockey Rosie Napravnik. The duo were sent off the heavy 1-2 favorite and paid $3 for finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.
"(Trainer) Steve (Assmusen)'s only instructions were to keep it smooth, so I let her go easily, and she relaxed for me, and I just got her used to being asked to go at the top of the stretch. Very excited about her," Napravnik said.
"She just has ability. She has grown up a lot, and she has great composure...and she's fast," Asmussen remarked. "I like how she was handled by Rosie, how she relaxed, and she ran big, especially off such a fast effort in the Rachel Alexandra."
Fiftyshadesofgold tried to lead all the way home, setting splits of :24 1/5, :48 1/5 and 1:12 4/5 while holding a comfortable margin over Untapable. Unbridled Forever and Mary Rita followed while Artist Cry was well back in last. Untapble and Unbridled Forever ranged up to Fiftyshadesofgold's outside circling the final turn, and for a moment it appeared a stretch battle was in the works.
Untapable quickly put paid to that idea by effortlessly drawing off in the lane. Fiftyshadesofgold held second by 1 3/4 lengths over Unbridled Forever, while Mary Rita and a distanced Artist Cry completed the order under the wire.
"She ran great. She ran a very improved race," noted Mike Smith, who was aboard Fiftyshadesofgold. "My horse will get a lot out of this. She was only second off the layoff, and she has room to improve. You might have seen the best filly in the world out there."
"We had a great trip. I pressed her onto even terms with Untapable, but that one is just a great filly. She wowed everyone last time and echoed it again today," Unbridled Forever's jockey, Robby Albarado, praised the Fair Grounds Oaks winner.
"She was just a little tired today. It was a nice try, she was just outrun by a nice horse," added Dallas Stewart, who trains Silverbulletday victress Unbridled Forever. "We'll come back in five weeks and try her again."
Thus far, Untapable's only two bad races have come during her foray to the West Coast last fall. The daughter of Tapit began her career at Churchill Downs last June, taking her maiden debut before capturing the Pocahontas nearly three months later. The bay miss was then shipped cross-country to Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, where she suffered a troubled trip and never factored to be a well-beaten eighth, and stayed in California for a third-place run in the Hollywood Starlet to close out her juvenile campaign.
Untapable resurfaced at Fair Grounds this winter and made her sophomore bow a 9 1/2-length frolic at the New Orleans track in the February 22 Rachel Alexandra last out. Thanks to the 100 points she earned in Saturday's Fair Grounds Oaks as part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series, the Kentucky-bred lass is guaranteed a spot in the May 2 Kentucky Oaks starting gate, where she could improve on her already impressive 6-4-0-1, $548,125, resume.
Untapable is out of the Grade 2-winning Prized mare Fun House, making her a half-sister to Grade 1 turf hero Paddy O'Prado. Fun House is herself a half-sister to Grade 2-scoring sire Early Flyer, and that duo's dam counts as half-siblings Grade 1-winning stallion Olympio and Grade 2 victress Call Now.
Other close relatives from Untapable's female line include Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile king Tapizar; Grade 1 stars Pyro and Cuvee; and Grade 2 scorers Wild Wonder, Will He Shine and Bien Nicole.