Miller Racing's Call Pat unleashed her patented stretch run to defeat Champion Untapable by a neck in Saturday's Grade 2 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park. The 6-year-old daughter of Lawyer Ron stopped the clock in 1:44.44 for the 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track for trainer Brad Cox.
“Joe Rocco does a great job on this mare,” said winning trainer Cox. “He knows her. He's ridden her at Indiana. He won on her here at Oaklawn, so he obviously knows the mare very well. He knew he couldn't sweep around all those good mares today. Come up the inside, split horses. He did a great job.”
Untapable broke a half-step slowly and found herself fourth early while jockey Joe Rocco Jr. patiently allowed Call Pat to take up her preferred running position at the back of the field, nearly nine lengths off the leaders. Sarah Sis and High Dollar Woman strode out for the early lead, with the latter winning the battle through the first quarter in :23.11. Nearing the half-mile pole, Untapable was a bit keen under Florent Geroux, throwing her head up and begging for more rein as she moved into second behind High Dollar Woman in :47.83.
“I was happy to the see the :47,” Cox continued. “The last time, they went a little bit slower in the Bayakoa. But we always knows she comes running. I was hoping she wouldn't run out of ground.”
Rounding the final turn, Untapable was allowed to grab the lead as Sarah Sis moved into second up the rail after three-quarters in 1:13.15. Call Pat began to unleash her rally from the back of the pack but was left with a lot of work to do. Sarah Sis was the first to give way on the front end but Streamline moved up on the outside to challenge Untapable as Call Pat was making giant strides through traffic with a sixteenth left to run. Theogony was also closing from the outside, but it was Call Pat who emerged the strongest, getting up just in time to best Untapable by a neck on the wire. Streamline was another half-length back in third, while Theogony was just back in fourth.
“It was your typical Call Pat fashion,” said winning jockey Rocco. “She falls back there and I just let her do her thing. We just kind of picked our way through there. She's a nice mare. If you conserve her, she comes running.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen was “disappointed” that Untapable finished second, but said “she ran solid. The rider said she lost a little focus and didn't see that filly on the outside (Sarah Sis) and she was kid of looking up. I think she ran well. The winner (Call Pat) runs well here and we always know how that is when you come into Oaklawn. It is a horse for course place.”
Bred in Kentucky by Don Ameche III, Don Ameche Jr. and Prancing Horse Enterprises, Call Pat is out of a daughter of Rahy. She was a $7,500 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, and has now earned over $614,000. With three graded stakes victories under her belt, Call Pat now has seven wins overall from 30 starts, and is perfect thus far in 2016.
Trainer Brad Cox said that Call Pat would be pointed to the Grade 1 Apple Blossom on April 15 at Oaklawn if all went well, and Steve Asmussen said the same of Untapable.
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