By Gene Kershner
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Untapable put her stamp on a Kentucky Oaks victory with a 4 1/2-length victory in the 140th running of the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks before 113,071 at Churchill Downs on Friday afternoon under the Twin Spires. She handled the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:48.68.
The daughter of Tapit out of a Fun House mare returned $4 to bettors for the win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. She was in a battle with second place finisher My Miss Sophia as they rounded the top of the stretch, but she took over in mid-stretch and pulled away to give both jockey Rosie Napravnik and trainer Steve Asmussen their second Oaks victories. Untapable is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds.
Napravnik won the 2012 Oaks with Believe You Can to become the first female jock to win the venerable race. Asmussen won the 2005 edition of the race with Summerly. It was the third straight victory for Untapable who had posted convincing wins in prep races at the Fair Grounds.
Asmussen was beaming about his filly post-race. "I was so happy to see her show who she is on this stage. The filly has developed tremendously after the first two races this year and I think she lived up to the billing today," said Asmussen.
He credited Napravnik with a great ride on the filly. "Rosie and Untapable are a very good combination and I think they both have the ultimate confidence and it shows in the afternoon," he said.
Napravnik gave her horse credit for taking over at the right time. "I think the filly has so much confidence in herself. We were able to get into just a perfect position. She had a perfect break. Once she gets into a good rhythm, her rhythm is so smooth and so relaxed, it's like let me know when you want to go," said Napravnik.
Javier Castellano, rider of second-place finisher My Miss Sophia thought his filly gave her all, but the Tapit filly was just too much to overcome. "It was a beautiful trip. I liked the way it set up. Unfortunately, the (winning) filly she was amazing, I'm not taking away anything from her. I give her all the credit in the world, she ran good. I'm not disappointed at all, I'm very satisfied with her race," said Castellano. My Miss Sophia paid $4.20 to place and $4.40 to show.
Third-place finisher Unbridled Forever was a game third, but couldn't duplicate the efforts of her mother, Lemons Forever, who won the 2006 Oaks at 47-1. Trainer Dallas Stewart was pleased with his filly's effort. "What can I say, she ran terrific," said Stewart. "She was digging in and trying hard. That was two of the best fillies in the country and we were third and I was very proud of her," he said. Unbridled Forever paid $6 for the show.
Our Post Time preview gave out the trifecta, which paid $44.55 for $0.50 ($178.20 for $2). Check back tomorrow at 1 p.m. for a live blog from Churchill here at the Sports, Ink blog.
The $2 will pays for the Oaks-Derby double were posted after the race and not surprisingly, California Chrome ($11.40) looks to maintain the favorite's role in tomorrow's Derby and was at 3-1 after today's advance wagering. Here are the $2 will-pays with 13-Untapable:
|Saddle Number||Horse||$2 Will Pays|
|1||Vicar's in Trouble||$142.40|
|7||We Miss Artie||$295.60|
|8||General a Rod||$128.60|
|12||Dance With Fate||$82.80|
|19||Ride On Curlin||$116.60|
|21||Pablo Del Monte||SCR|