Saratoga Race Course’s loss will be Monmouth Park’s gain on July 27.
Untapable, the dominant 3-year-old filly in the country and a potential Horse of the Year candidate, will run against males in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at the Oceanport, N.J., track instead of the July 20 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga.
Owned by Ron Winchell and trained by Steve Asmussen, Untapable takes a page from the playbook of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, who was also trained by Asmussen. Rachel Alexandra won the Haskell, the second of three starts against males that year, along with the Preakness and Woodward at Saratoga.
Untapable hasn’t found much competition running against her own sex in four starts this year, winning the Rachel Alexandra, Fair Grounds Oaks, Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose by a combined 31 lengths.
She breezed five furlongs in company with a Winchell 3-year-old colt, Wizardly, on the Oklahoma training track Monday morning, after which the decision was made to go to the Haskell.
“She’s a beautiful mover, a tremendous talent,” Asmussen said.
Untapable was ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who made a special trip from New York to get on the bay Tapit filly for the first time since they won the Kentucky Oaks on May 2.
Napravnik has been out for a month with a left shoulder injury suffered in a training spill, but is set to ride Untapable in the Haskell. John Velazquez rode the filly in the Mother Goose while Napravnik was out of commission.
“It was her first work back, so you knew she wanted to do something, but she relaxes and wasn’t, like, dragging me,” Napravnik said. “She was just, this is the pace I want to go today. That’s kind of the way she works.
“She’s better, if anything. She’s pretty special.”
Untapable, who resides in the same stall in barn 65 next to Asmussen’s office that
Rachel Alexandra used, will work at Saratoga next Monday and ship to New Jersey in the middle of next week.
Napravnik is still undergoing physical therapy for her shoulder, but planned to be back in Saratoga Monday night for today’s draw of the opening day card.
The 146th Saratoga meet opens on Friday.
“They said, ‘Are you available [for Untapable’s work]?’ and I said, ‘I will make myself available,’ ” Napravnik said with a chuckle. “That’s something I wouldn’t miss. I really want to be here for opening day’s entries so everybody knows I’m here, ready to go. I’m really chomping on the bit, and can’t wait for opening day.”
Another familiar face who arrived on Monday was two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan.
He is coming off colic surgery, but is scheduled to work on Friday and remains on track to run in the Fourstardave — which he has won the last two years — on Aug. 9.
Will Take Charge, last year’s Travers winner, snapped off a 59.36 that was the fastest of 20 five-furlong works on the main track as he prepares for the Aug. 2 Whitney.
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