06/16/2014 8:57AM

Velazquez to ride Untapable in Mother Goose

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Barbara D. Livingston
Untapable, here winning the Kentucky Oaks, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 at Churchill Downs on Monday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has been named by trainer Steve Asmussen as the replacement for injured Rosie Napravnik on Untapable in the upcoming Mother Goose Stakes, a Grade 1 race for which the star filly made further preparations early Monday when breezing five furlongs in company in 1:01.20 over a fast Churchill Downs surface.

The mount came open after Napravnik suffered a mildly separated shoulder in a training accident here Sunday morning and was pronounced out of action for four to six weeks. Napravnik, 26, was working a 4-year-old filly named Socialbug, who suffered a catastrophic injury to her right foreleg and had to be euthanized. Napravnik has been aboard Untapable for all but one of her seven career starts, including a 4 1/2-length score in the May 2 Oaks.

The Monday work was the penultimate breeze for Untapable before she runs June 28 in the Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose, a 1 1/16-mile, one-turn race at Belmont Park in New York. Asmussen had said last week he would consider shipping the filly to Belmont for her final work early next week but on Monday said he most likely will keep her at Churchill Downs to train.

"She’s in a really good place and I’m hesitant to change anything up," he said.

Asumussen pointed out that he trained Rachel Alexandra at Churchill Downs prior to the 2009 Mother Goose. Rachel Alexandra set a stakes record of 1:46.33 for 1 1/8 miles, which was the distance of the Mother Goose then.

On a warm morning, Untapable and exercise rider Angel Garcia spotted Wizardly, a 3-year-old colt, about two lengths when breaking off at the five-furlong pole to start the Monday work. According to Churchill clocker John Nichols, the pair proceeded through splits of 25 and 37.20 seconds, with Untapable about two lengths ahead crossing under the wire in 1:01.20. Through the clubhouse turn, she maintained her lengthy stride while getting farther ahead, going out six furlongs in 1:13.60 and seven furlongs in 1:28.

“Beautiful,” said Asmussen. “She looks really good and we’re very happy with her. That’s why we’ll probably just stay here for her last work before sending her up. She’s just doing so well.”

Untapable, by Tapit, has emerged as the undisputed leader of the 3-year-old filly division in North America. After the Mother Goose, Asmussen has set a tentative race schedule of Coaching Club American Oaks, Alabama, and Cotillion leading up to the Oct. 31 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita.

Twenty fillies are nominated to the Mother Goose, including five trained by Todd Pletcher and three by Dale Romans. Entries will be taken June 25.