04/29/2014 10:23AM

Untapable draws outside post as 4-5 favorite for Oaks


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Untapable was assigned the outside post as the heavy favorite in a field of 13 3-year-old fillies entered in the Grade 1, $1 million Kentucky Oaks, to be run Friday at Churchill Downs.

Untapable, with Rosie Napravnik riding for owner-breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds and trainer Steve Asmussen, has been listed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite by track linemaker Mike Battaglia.Barbara D. LivingstonUntapable, shown training Sunday, drew the far-outside No. 13 post and was made the 4-5 morning-line favorite for Friday's Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

Asmussen said shortly after the Tuesday post draw that he was unfazed by the outside post and that he’s hoping it will afford Untapable a clear run into the first turn of the 1 1/8-mile race.

“I just hope I didn’t use up all my draw luck,” said a laughing Asmussen, who also will saddle Tapiture for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

Fashion Plate (post 7, Gary Stevens) is next on the Oaks morning line at 6-1 and is followed by Rosalind (post 4, Joel Rosario) and My Miss Sophia (post 11, Javier Castellano) at 8-1 each.

Asmussen said early Tuesday that “the stage is set” for Untapable to take the major step from “talented filly to superstar” in the 140th running of the filly classic.

“She’s not there yet,” Asmussen said. “A lot of these horses, it’s how they handle the circumstances in front of them. She’s done everything right to this point. She’s training beautifully, and all signs are good. Now she just has to go out and do it.”

Untapable, by Tapit, won her first two starts last summer at Churchill before incurring two straight losses. She then surged to the head of the class with her last two efforts, romps in the Feb. 22 Rachel Alexandra Stakes and March 29 Fair Grounds Oaks.

Napravnik will be going for her second Oaks victory in three runnings, having become the first female jockey to win the race with Believe You Can in 2012.

From the rail and with jockeys, this is the Oaks field:

Please Explain, Jose Lezcano; Ria Antonia, Mike Smith; Sugar Shock, Calvin Borel; Rosalind, Joel Rosario; Thank You Marylou, Julien Leparoux; Kiss Moon, Victor Espinoza; Fashion Plate, Gary Stevens; Aurelia’s Belle, Channing Hill; Unbridled Forever, Robby Albarado; Empress of Midway, Corey Nakatani; My Miss Sophia, Javier Castellano; Got Lucky, John Velazquez; and Untapable, Napravnik.

The winner’s share will be $570,400, assuming all 13 start.

Fashion Plate, trained by Bob Baffert, is entered off back-to-back Grade 1 victories at her home track, Santa Anita.

Rosalind, trained by Ken McPeek, is entered off a dead-heat victory in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

My Miss Sophia, an easy winner of the Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct, is one of two fillies in the race trained by Todd Pletcher, the other being Got Lucky. Pletcher recorded his third Oaks win last year with Princess of Sylmar.

Unbridled Forever is the only starter in the field whose dam won the Oaks – Lemons Forever in 2006.

The Oaks is carded as the 11th of 12 races on a Friday card that starts at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. The Oaks will be part of a three-hour show on NBC Sports Network that starts at 3 p.m., with post time set for 5:49. An ontrack crowd of more than 100,000 is expected.

The weather for Friday calls for partly cloudy skies and a high of 62.

In the only Kentucky Oaks futures pool offered earlier this year by Churchill, Untapable was a 5-1 co-favorite, along with the 24th or “all others” option.