Photo: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Untapable remained perfect in two starts with a determined half-length
victory over Stonetastic in Saturday night's 45th running of the Grade
II, $168,150 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs.
Rosie Napravnik and trained by Steve Asmussen, Untapable ran 1 1/16
miles on a fast track in 1:44.38 and banked $101,125 for the win.
Additionally, the Pocahontas is part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and
You're In" Challenge Series, which means Untapable has secured a
starting spot and travel allowance to the $2 million Breeders' Cup
Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.
She also is the
early points-leader on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The Pocahontas was
the first of 15 "Kentucky Oaks Prep Season" races in which points are
awarded to the Top 4 finishers on a 10-4-2-1 scale.
victory didn't come easy. Breaking from the inside post in a field of
eight 2-year-old fillies, Untapable tracked early pacesetters Elena
Strikes and Milam from the inside and appeared to be unsettled, throwing
her head, as they rounded the first turn in :23.73.
the leaders ran a half in :48.40 and six furlongs in 1:12.50, New
Jersey-invader Stonetastic, the 8-5 favorite under Joe Bravo, made the
first run from the outside into the final turn and gained a short lead
at the head of the lane. Simultaneously, Napravnik sat chilly on
Untapable until an opening developed at the top the stretch. Untapable
angled out with a quarter mile to run, drew even with Stonetastic with a
sixteenth of a mile to run and closed well to get up in time.
Untapable, sent to the post as the 5-1 third betting choice, paid
$13.60, $6.20 and $5. Stonetastic, made the favorite after scintillating
12 ½-length career debut at Monmouth Park, returned $4 and $3.60.
Rosalind, a 14-1 outsider, rallied for third to finish two length behind
the runner-up and paid $6.60.
Milam, Harlan's Special, Elena Strikes, Redheaded Witch and Nevada Deputy completed the order of finish.
Untapable's final time of 1:44.48 was :01.27 faster than
2-year-old colt Cleburne ran a race later while winning the $171,750
Untapable was bred in Kentucky by her
owner Ron Winchell. A bay Tapit filly out of the Prized mare Fun House,
she is a half-sister to Grade I-winner Paddy O'Prado, the third-place
finisher in the 2010 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
The Pocahontas was Untapable's first race in 79 days. She previously won her career bow at Churchill Downs on June 20.
This was the second Pocahontas win for both the jockey and
trainer. Napravnik rode Sign to victory a year ago. Asmussen saddled
Punch Appeal to success in 2004.
ASMUSSEN, trainer of UNTAPABLE (winner): "I think she's a very special
filly. That was a huge move considering she had one sprint race. We had
planned on running her once at Saratoga, but it didn't work out. She's
not short on ability, but definitely a little short on experience.
"She was pretty headstrong (on the backstretch), but about halfway
down the backstretch she dropped the bridle and you could tell she was
going along smooth enough. But I thought once she dropped the bridle,
she didn't really know where to go after that."
finally got out in the stretch she really hesitated, and I think it was
just not knowing to go and having to wait so much. When she got up to
even terms (with Stonetastic) she kind of leveled back off a bit.
Q: She's earned the spot in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Is that the plan? "Yes."
ROSIE NAPRAVNIK, rider on UNTAPABLE (winner): "She was awesome."
Q: She was a little erratic down the lane, but finally got by ...
"She did that a little bit in her first race. I started out hitting her
left-handed, then when I hit pushed her right-handed she wanted to
lean-in, but I couldn't stop riding her. I wanted to get the win."
Q: Did you feel like you were going to get there? "I did. She's a
very, very talented filly and it was a lot to ask of her: second time
out, she hadn't run in a couple of months, and running two turns against