Louisville, KY -- Untapable lived up to her billing in Friday’s $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, drawing away in the stretch drive to a 4 ½-length decision. An overwhelming even-money favorite following convincing wins in two prior starts this year, Untapable continued to impress while providing Rosie Napravnik with her second victory in the premiere test for 3-year-old fillies.
“She was really great today,” said Napravnik, who became the first female rider to win the Kentucky Oaks when guiding Believe You Can in 2012. “She is magnificent.”
The start of the Oaks was delayed by Empress of Midway, who flipped over in the starting gate and had to be scratched after being successfully extricated. That allowed Untapable, who drew the far outside among 13 rivals, to move one spot closer to the rail and the bay filly broke favorably from post 12, establishing early positioning just behind front-runners Sugar Shock and My Miss Sophia.
“We ended up in a great position from the outside post,” Napravnik explained. “She runs her best when she can get in a great stride. She relaxes so nice. She’s growing up and is maturing.”
Untapable was kept in the clear on the outside down the backstretch, stalking in a perfect pouncing position about a length back of the lead, and was her given cue midway on the far turn. She advanced to overtake My Miss Sophia entering the stretch, powering past her rival in decisive fashion, and won for fun in the latter stages.
My Miss Sophia proved no match for the heroine but easily held second in a strong performance, finishing six lengths clear of third-placer Unbridled Forever.
Rosalind came next in fourth and was followed under the finish line by Thank You Marylou, Ria Antonia, Got Lucky, Sugar Shock, Aurelia’s Belle, Please Explain, Fashion Plate and Kiss Moon.
Untapable, who rewarded trainer Steve Asmussen with his second career win in the Kentucky Oaks, covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:48 3/5 and returned a paltry win payout of $4.
Now a four-time stakes winner, Untapable registered her first black-type score in the Pocahontas last September and opened 2014 with romping wins in the Feb. 22 Rachel Alexandra and March 29 Fair Grounds Oaks.
A daughter of leading sire Tapit, Untapable was bred in Kentucky by owner Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. The top-class filly earned $576,600 on Friday, increasing her bankroll to $1,124,725 from a 7-5-0-1 record.
“It is just a great feeling,” Napravnik added. “I am so thankful for Steve (Asmussen) and for the Winchells having me on the filly. They have done such a great job.”