Updated on 05/03/2014 11:48PM

Kentucky Oaks: Untapable dominates despite wide trip

Barbara D. Livingston
Untapable, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, wins the Kentucky Oaks by 4 1/2 lengths as the even-money favorite Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Untapable separated herself from all the other 3-year-old fillies in the land when carrying Rosie Napravnik to a 4 1/2-length victory in near-record time Friday in the 140th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

Always in a comfortable stalking spot after breaking cleanly from the outside post in a field of 12, Untapable moved up smoothly to challenge nearing the quarter pole before quickly establishing herself as far superior, finishing in 1:48.68, the second-fastest time in race history. She returned $4 as the solid favorite.

“She was magnificent,” said Napravnik, who won the Oaks for the second time, having become the first female jockey to win an Oaks in 2012 aboard Believe You Can.

My Miss Sophia finished second, six lengths before Unbridled Forever in a spread-out field. Rosalind was up late to get fourth over Thank You Marylou.

The winning time was just off the Oaks record of 1:48.64 set in 2003 by Bird Town.

Untapable, by the red-hot sire Tapit, is a Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred trained by Steve Asmussen. The bay filly was coming off back-to-back victories at Fair Grounds, the latest being the March 29 Fair Grounds Oaks, a race that has produced a remarkable six of the last 11 winners of the Kentucky Oaks.

“I was so happy to see her show who she is on this stage,” said Asmussen, who has been under a microscope since a controversial video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was revealed this year. “Under the circumstances, this couldn’t mean more.”

Winchell and Asmussen teamed once before to win the Oaks with Summerly in 2005.

Under cloudy skies and amid unseasonably cool temperatures, Untapable was just a few paths wide while securing a good early position behind the pacesetter, Sugar Shock, as My Miss Sophia gave the leader closest chase. Into the far turn, My Miss Sophia overtook Sugar Shock first, but Untapable loomed boldly with easy, menacing strides to her outside.

Leaving the quarter pole, there was little doubt who was best, as Untapable glided away to her fifth triumph from seven career starts. The $576,600 winner’s share lifted her career earnings to $1,124,725.

“We broke sharp and had the perfect conditions,” said Napravnik, a 26-year-old New Jersey native who has been a leading jockey in Maryland, Louisiana, and Kentucky. “She was really great. I wasn’t worried about [the outside] post position like so many other people were. She ran her race. She’s learned to relax. She’s matured. She’s growing up.”

In regard to winning the Oaks for a second time, Napravnik said: “This will go down as one of my greatest moments. I have so many women out there pulling for me ... it’s really inspiring to me. It really makes me feel great.”

Asmussen, who trained Rachel Alexandra to win the 2009 Horse of the Year award after that filly set an Oaks record with a 20 1/4-length triumph, said he was flattered that Untapable is starting to be compared with Rachel Alexandra.

“It’s a good thing that people are starting to ask that question,” he said. “We want everyone to feel about Untapable the way we do.”

Asmussen said he would not consider a possible run against male rivals in the May 17 Preakness for Untapable until after Saturday, when he and Winchell will be running Tapiture in the Kentucky Derby. Rachel Alexandra won the Preakness off her Oaks score.

After the top five, the Oaks order was Ria Antonia, Got Lucky, Sugar Shock, Aurelia’s Belle, Please Explain, Fashion Plate, and Kiss Moon.

My Miss Sophia, ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Todd Pletcher, had no excuses when easily second-best.

Fashion Plate, a wire-to-wire winner of the Grade 1 Las Virgenes and Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in her two prior starts, was never a factor after acting up in the gate and breaking awkwardly.

Empress of Midway, who was 56-1 at the time, was scratched at the gate after acting up badly and temporarily becoming cast. Dr. Larry Bramlage, the on-call veterinarian for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, said the decision to scratch the filly was mostly a precautionary measure. “By all outward appearances, she’s fine,” said Bramlage.

The $2 exacta (13-11) paid $21.80, the $1 trifecta (13-11-9) returned $89.10, and the 10-cent superfecta (13-11-9-4) was worth $29.89.

Untapable returned $12 to win as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which ran Feb. 27 to March 1. The $2 exacta combination (23-24) using Untapable over a field horse (My Miss Sophia) was $48.40.

Ontrack attendance was 113,071, the third-highest in event history.


Ray More than 1 year ago
Thank you Mr. Sanchez. Could not find this info. Thank you Candy Boy
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
# Untapable with $1 Will Pay 1 Vicar's in Trouble $ 71.20 2 Harry's Holiday $ 199.90 3 Uncle Sigh $ 121.90 4 Danza $ 22.30 5 California Chrome $ 5.70 6 Samraat $ 42.20 7 We Miss Artie $ 147.80 8 General a Rod $ 64.30 9 Vinceremos $ 152.70 10 Wildcat Red $ 64.60 11 Hoppertunity $ - 12 Dance With Fate $ 41.40 13 Chitu $ 60.40 14 Medal Count $ 43.40 15 Tapiture $ 43.10 16 Intense Holiday $ 29.20 17 Commanding Curve $ 82.20 18 Candy Boy $ 50.70 19 Ride On Curlin $ 58.30 20 Wicked Strong $ 19.80 More from And Down The Stretch They Come
jttf More than 1 year ago
temp right around 60. untapable is washed out before race, very intense eyes and froth flying. rosie gives an allout effort in the stretch. untapable ran very well and was weaving in and out in the stretch like sunday silence's derby. lasix use and being washed out spell longer recovery time needed. preakness in two weeks is not recomended. the wiggins trained rachel won the oaks with a motionless jockey aboard throughout the race. not as much energy lost.
John More than 1 year ago
Good story, the Derby winner California Chrome vs the filly in the Preakness.........!
hialeah More than 1 year ago
Kinda jumping the gun a bit. Rachel went to the Preakness because a 50-1 shot won the Derby in less than average time. IF Chrome wins and the time is better than average than Untapable will stay with her group. Untapable goes to Baltimore IF the apple cart gets turned over.
Shanna More than 1 year ago
Where are all the Untapable haters now. People were saying she would not win the race. That Tapit horses are no good. I want to hear from those guys. That was a great race she ran. She destroyed the field.
AzHorsePlayer More than 1 year ago
She was even money so ya we all thought she would lose, moronic statement...everyone knew she was a lock in here...she might have beat the boys tomorrow is what I heard all day before the race and they might be right.
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Something I always hear tapits fillies or colts can't get the distance but the always seem to amaze me??? Love tapitsfly n all others!!! Why they keep winning n I continue to make all this money?? Gud night haters!!!!!
Jacqueline Schumacher More than 1 year ago
Nope--still here, still don't like Tapit as a sire. I love Sunday Silence vanquisher and BC Turf winner Prized as her broodmare sire, though. How about a little credit to the mare and her lineage for filling in Tapit's stamina deficiencies, ably?
B More than 1 year ago
I think he's much better sire than he was a race horse.
Richard Cadena More than 1 year ago
It appears the first four or so runners that were near the front from the start, including Untapable, all ran around the track and ended up more or less in the top positions. Where was the other front-running speed; Fashion Plate appeared to break badly and was never a threat. No one seemed to gain ground or closed. If the dirt-track at Churchill remains the same that may bode well for California Chrome and the other front runners or stalkers. In 2009, one of the problems was in the call by Durkin of Rachel Alexander, when she won by 19 or so lengths on a semi-wet track at Churchill Downs. The hype then began; she was purchased by another owner and ran in the Preakness. We need to see the quality of horses in the Kentucky Derby. If it turns out a 50-1 colt like Mine That Bird wins, and no other three-year old colt dominates, then the discussion of running the filly makes sense. R.A. ran against the weakest divisions that year -- the 3-year old colts and fillies; she avoided running against Zenyatta, who later beat the tougher competition in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The handlers of R.A. mapped out an astute string of races for R.A.
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Same thing today in the alysheba today will take charge had no shot today
Richard Cadena More than 1 year ago
Agree, I saw the replay later. Very few horses made up ground down the stretch. Let's see if they alter the dirt track surface to make it easier for the closers. I have not followed Churchill but know that Santa Anita is a speed-favoring track. If it remains the same there are more speed runners that can carry a distance tomorrow than apparently were in Untapable's race. Fashion Plate I recall usually is a front runner but did not have a good break/start. Maybe that was a weak field. If speed holds, there may be several going at it on the front end, including General A Rod, Chitu, and a few other East Coast runners. The second flank runners, in that case, if the track remains as yesterday, would be in striking position.
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
I like California chrome tapiture and chitu as my 3 selections
B More than 1 year ago
Zenyatta beat a much better field in the BC, but avoided any serious competition the rest of the year. Ditto the following year. As good as she was, and she was super, that fact will always stick with her legacy. Rachel was a deserving HOY and in all honesty, Zenyatta didn't deserve it the the following year facing nothing all year and then losing the BC Classic, but I was glad she won nevertheless. It was more of a career achievement award, even though that is not what it is supposed to be.
Walter More than 1 year ago
The video exists and shouldn't be discounted, but it has nothing to do with what happened today. She ran huge and should be applauded.
B More than 1 year ago
I don't think that she is the second coming of Rachel Alexandra, but she was super impressive. If a long shot wins tomorrow, I bet it's onto the Preakness.
Rich Weinberg More than 1 year ago
Does anyone know the Oaks/ Derby daily double payouts?
G More than 1 year ago
I only know two payoffs. With CC 11.20 and with Intense Holiday 58.35. That are the two dollar payoffs.
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Kentuckyderby.com u should find it there
Matthew Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Vicar's in Trouble $ 71.20 2 Harry's Holiday $ 199.90 3 Uncle Sigh $ 121.90 4 Danza $ 22.30 5 California Chrome $ 5.70 6 Samraat $ 42.20 7 We Miss Artie $ 147.80 8 General a Rod $ 64.30 9 Vinceremos $ 152.70 10 Wildcat Red $ 64.60 11 Hoppertunity $ - 12 Dance With Fate $ 41.40 13 Chitu $ 60.40 14 Medal Count $ 43.40 15 Tapiture $ 43.10 16 Intense Holiday $ 29.20 17 Commanding Curve $ 82.20 18 Candy Boy $ 50.70 19 Ride On Curlin $ 58.30 20 Wicked S
Paul More than 1 year ago
I've said for months she's the best 3yo in the country. Having said that, I hope regardless of what else she does this year that she does not run in the bc as her two losses came in CA. I'd rather her not run in the Preakness but if the race is weak tomorrow she will. So 201 and higher on a similar track and I think she might run