Untapable, the easy winner of the Kentucky Oaks, will make her first start in New York when she competes in the Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose was carded as race 4. There will be no show wagering on the Mother Goose. Later on Saturday, the $100,000 Manila will be contested as race 8 and the Grade 2, $200,000 New York will be contested as race 9.
Untapable, winner of the Grade 2 Pocahontas as a 2-year-old, is unbeaten in three starts this year. She began her sophomore campaign at the Fair Grounds, where she won the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra by 9 ½ lengths in February and the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks by 7 ¾ lengths in March.
She was confidently handled in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, stalking the pace before making a four-wide move to sweep to the lead in upper stretch before pulling clear to a 4 ½-length win under Rosie Napravnik.
Trained by Steve Asmussen for owner/breeder Ron Winchell, Untapable, a bay daughter of Tapit, has targeted the Mother Goose since the Kentucky Oaks.
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez will replace Napravnik, who was injured during training hours on June 15 at Churchill Downs, aboard Untapable in the Mother Goose. Untapable was installed as the 1-5 favorite on the morning line and drew post position 2.
Untapable's primary challenger is Mike Repole's Stopchargingmaria, who is entering Saturday's race off a victory in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 16 at Pimlico Race Course.
At 2, Stopchargingmaria swept the Grade 3 Tempted and Grade 2 Demoiselle in November at Aqueduct Racetrack. She needed time to round into form this year at 3, finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Davona Dale in February at Gulfstream Park and fourth in the Grade 3 Fantasy in April at Oaklawn Park before she rallied from midpack and wore down Vero Amore to take the Black-Eyed Susan by a neck.
"It took us a couple of starts to get going," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "I don't think she loved Florida for the winter. Her first race was disappointing, and I think we made a little move forward in the Fantasy. The Black-Eyed Susan was her back at her best."
Pletcher admits defeating Untapable will be a difficult assignment.
"It's a formidable task," said Pletcher. "We'll need to have our best race, and Untapable may need to have an off day."
Javier Castellano, who has ridden Stopchargingmaria in all three of her stakes wins, has the assignment once again in the Mother Goose. Stopchargingmaria, the 8-1 morning-line second choice, will leave from post 6.
Hall of Fame trainer and upset specialist H. Allen Jerkens is looking to add the 2014 Mother Goose to his list of improbable victories as he sends out House Rules, the 12-1 third choice on the morning line.
Owned by Joseph Shields, Jr., House Rules is seeking a breakthrough victory in the Mother Goose, having finished second in both the Grade 2 Davona Dale in February and Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in March. Most recently, she raced evenly and passed tiring rivals when sixth in the Grade 1 TVG Acorn on June 7 at Belmont.
Joel Rosario takes over aboard House Rules, who drew post 1.
The field also includes Princess Violet, a winner of two straight against New York-breds; America, fifth in the Black-Eyed Susan; and Aqua Regia, who took an entry-level allowance on June 5 at Belmont.
The field for the Grade 1, $300,000 Mother Goose:
House Rules (KY)
H Allen Jerkens
J R. Velazquez
S M. Asmussen
Princess Violet (NY)
J L. Ortiz
M E. Hushion
I Ortiz, Jr.
W I. Mott
Aqua Regia (KY)
T A. Pletcher