09/20/2014 4:06PM

Untapable holds off Sweet Reason in Cotillion

Tom Keyser
Untapable won for the fifth time in six starts Saturday, taking down the Cotillion Stakes by a length over Sweet Reason at Parx.

BENSALEM, Pa. – Untapable rebounded from a tough journey versus males in the Haskell Invitational to win the Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx Racing on Saturday.

While the Cotillion may not have been Untapable's most impressive performance of the season, it should serve as a good tightener for her next start, the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita on Oct. 31. The win solidifies Untapable's standing as the nation's best 3-year-old filly.

Following the Cotillion, Steve Asmussen said Untapable will be flown to California on Sunday. Eastern-based horses did not perform well at last year's Breeders' Cup, which was run in warm weather over a speed-favoring track.

"That will give her plenty of time to acclimate," he said. "I expect her to come out of this race and run even better next time."

Asmussen also won the Cotillion in 2012 with My Miss Aurelia.

Jojo Warrior out-footed Cassatt for the early lead in the Cotillion, setting early splits of 23.49 seconds, 46.62, and 1:10.37. Cassatt moved up to challenge Jojo Warrior from the outside on the far turn, and Untapable, who was unhurried early by Rosie Napravnik, lodged her bid three wide.

Untapable appeared to want to lug in entering the stretch, and Napravnik cocked her head to the outside. Untapable then drifted inward in upper stretch while moving to the lead outside Jojo Warrior. She drifted out a bit in the final furlong from Napravnik's left-handed whip.

Untapable held runner-up Sweet Reason safe by a length. It was another length back to Jojo Warrior in third. Little Alexis finished fourth, 2 1/2 lengths farther back. Cassatt tired to finish fifth.

Sweet Reason ran well for second. She popped open her starting gate door after loading into the gate. Fourth early, she began to advance on the far turn and followed Untapable three wide into the stretch. She continued with good energy to the wire.

Untapable completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.71 after a mile in 1:35.84. She paid $3 to win as the heavy favorite in the eight-horse field. In the show pool, $136,176 out of $187,410 was bet on Untapable. She paid $2.10.

Untapable now has won three Grade 1 races this year – the Kentucky Oaks, the Mother Goose, and the Cotillion. She also has won the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra and the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks.

Untapable came into the Haskell with a 4-for-4 record on the year but had a rough journey under hot and humid conditions and finished fourth to Bayern, who won the Pennsylvania Derby in the race following the Cotillion.

After the Haskell, Asmussen took Untapable to Saratoga, where he gave her five workouts in the eight weeks between races.

"I'm pleased and thankful to have her back," Asmussen said. "I'm proud she could come out of a tough race and win a Grade 1."

Untapable has been fractious in the paddock on occasion, wasting valuable energy. On Saturday, she was calm and composed.

“She behaved very well in the paddock,” Asmussen said. “She's a bigger, stronger mare now and handled everything well.”

Untapable will have to face older fillies and mares in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Asmussen acknowledged that it will not be an easy race.

"The Distaff will be a tall order." he said. "Close Hatches is a very talented filly."