Kentucky OaksLouisville, Ky. Churchill Downs
LOUISVILLE – Rosie Napravnik, who became the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks with aptly named Believe You Can two years ago, burnished her growing reputation when she and Untapable dominated the latest running of the Oaks by 4 ½ lengths on Friday at Churchill Downs.
Napravnik’s handling of Untapable from farthest outside in post 13 was as masterful as it was confident. But she gave all of the credit to a 3-year-old filly who continues to assert herself as the best of her class by far. She swept her three starts this year by a combined margin 21 ¾ lengths.
Napravnik said of the bay daughter of Tapit: “She is growing up, she is maturing and she is magnificent.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen is the subject of an ongoing investigation into the handling of his horses in a far-flung operation that annually ranks among the national leaders in victories and earnings. He delighted in a triumph that shed a positive light on his training ability and care.
“Under the circumstances, it meant a great deal,” he said. He saddles Tapiture, who is given an outside shot, in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.
Asmussen added: “When she stuck that pretty face in front, it was just a wonderful feeling.”
Untapable needed only a handful of powerful strides to overcome the disadvantage of her post and place herself in perfect striking position, sitting fourth in the early going. According to Napravnik, the filly twitches her ears as if to ask for the cue to make her move. She blew past speedy My Miss Sophia, the runner-up, when she was set down to run, taking command near the top of the stretch and drawing off from there.
- Race Number: 11
- Date of Race: May 02, 2014
- Current Purse: $1,000,000
- Location: Louisville, Ky.
- Track: Churchill Downs
- Distance: 1 1/8 miles
- Surface: Dirt
- Horse Age: 3-year-olds, fillies
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- Fastest Time (since 1976): 1:43:60 (Sweet Alliance, 1977)
- Greatest Winning Margin (since 1976): 20 1/4 lengths (Rachel Alexandra, 2009)
- Past Winners: