Untapable's first major score came in the Pocahontas Stakes in September at Churchill Downs. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)
A bay Tapit daughter, Untapable gained recognition as a promising Kentucky Oaks contender after winning the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes on Feb. 22. Her owner-breeder, Winchell Thoroughbreds, is now presented with the opportunity to have runners in both the Oaks and the Kentucky Derby. Winchell Thoroughbreds' colt Tapiture won the Southwest Stakes less than a week before Untapable’s victory.
In late June of last year, the Steve Asmussen-trainee entered her career debut at Churchill Downs as the second betting choice. In this 5 ½-furlong sprint the eventual third-placer, Gamblers Rose, chased closely in second as Untapable established a lively pace of :22.43 for the opening quarter-mile and :45.78 for the half-mile. With Rosie Napravnik in the saddle, Untapable began her racing career as a gate-to-wire winner, passing the final post in 1:04.35.
She made her graded stakes debut a little more than two months later in the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes. Untapable was rank on the first turn, but Napravnik pulled her back to fourth behind a slower opening quarter in :23.73. Leaving the far turn, she came to the outside and advanced her position. At the finish line of the 1 1/16-mile event, she defeated eight rivals by a half-length.
Following a less-than-spectacular eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Untapable finished third in Betfair Hollywood Park’s final renewal of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes. With Joe Talamo aboard, she raced in sixth throughout the first half-mile but could not finish better than third. Crossing the finish line first, the victorious Streaming was 2 ¾ lengths clear of Untapable.
UNTAPABLE GALLOPING BEFORE THE BREEDERS' CUP
Photo by Gary Tasich
Untapable made her season debut in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La. In this 1 1/16-mile contest, she carried four pounds more than the second-place filly and it appeared that she would have another battle with Streaming. However, Untapable’s familiar rival never seemed comfortable on the Fair Ground’s dirt main track and faded to last after leading through the early fractions. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Ria Antonia attracted prerace attention but could only muster a distant fourth-place finish.
Regardless, Untapable stood far above the field in terms of quality. Dealt an outside trip, she settled well into fifth after the :24.01 first quarter-mile and made her move coming into the stretch.
Untapable required little encouragement to get the lead and drew away to a 9 ½-length margin. Eased up nearing the finish line, she completed the race in 1:43.64 and galloped out with fuel in reserve.
After the Rachel Alexandra, trainer Steve Asmussen said that Untapable would be pointed toward the Fair Ground Oaks on Mar. 29 as her next start. One of the four graded stakes races on the day’s card, this race has proven to be a vital steppingstone to Kentucky Oaks success – five out of the past nine Fair Ground Oaks winners have gone on to win the blanket of lilies given to the Kentucky Oaks winner.