09/25/2017 3:46PM

Untrapped has Oaklawn in his future after Oklahoma Derby upset

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Dustin Orona Photography/Remington Park
Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. celebrates as Untrapped upsets the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park

OKLAHOMA CITY – Trainer Steve Asmussen said Monday that immediate plans for Oklahoma Derby winner Untrapped are to be determined, but that the Oaklawn meet is a long-range goal for the horse, owned by Arkansas resident Mike Langford. Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Untrapped was a 1 3/4-length winner of the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday at Remington, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 94.

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“We’ll talk to Mike and see what the right move next is,” Asmussen said. “I think Mike being from Jonesboro, Ark., having a lot of horses going into the Oaklawn meet will be a priority. We’re very proud of Untrapped and glad to see him beat this good of a group of 3-year-olds, and we know what a serious horse we have going forward.”

Oaklawn opens in January.

The Oklahoma Derby was something of a breakthrough race for Untrapped, who had run second or third in five graded stakes this year and finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby. The horse started his 3-year-old season at Fair Grounds, with a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Lecomte in January.

“He was a very talented horse last year coming into this year,” Asmussen said. “We had planned on starting him back in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn, and he was hung up at Fair Grounds in the quarantine, and we probably put more racing in a shorter period of time on him than would have been ideal. Since the Derby, we’ve spaced his races considerably better, and he went into the Oklahoma Derby fresh. I thought he ran a great race, and Ricardo gave him an excellent ride.”

Asmussen said after Untrapped ran third in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby on July 15 that the plan was to await the Oklahoma Derby. It was a plan that worked to perfection. Untrapped stalked the pace, angled out in the stretch, and finished with good energy to cover 1 1/8 miles in a sharp 1:48.62. He returned $24.60.