Heavily-favored Untapable drew off to an easy 2 1/2-length win in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park on Friday afternoon, notching her fifth career G1 victory under John Velazquez. The Steve Asmussen-trained daughter of Tapit laid fourth behind early leaders and made a three-wide move coming out of the backstretch, taking over the lead easily and kicking well clear by midstretch.
The Winchell Thoroughbreds-owned filly most recently finished second in the Grade 2 Azeri at Oaklawn in mid-March behind rival Gold Medal Dancer, who was third in their Apple Blossom rematch.
Diva's Diamond was second. The final time was 1:42.96 for the 1 1/16 miles.
Untapable entered Friday's race with career earnings of over $3 million and a 2014 Eclipse title as champion 3-year-old filly. She racked up wins in the Kentucky Oaks, Mother Goose, Cotillion, and Breeders' Cup Distaff, as well as the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra last year.
Untapable is a homebred for Winchell and is out of the Prized mare, Fun House.
$600,000 Apple Blossom (G1) Quotes, courtesy of Oaklawn Park press office
Steve Asmussen, trainer Untamable, 1st – “I was awfully concerned with how sharp she's been, the works that she's put in,” Asmussen said. “I thought Johnny did a great job with her into the first turn. Once they lined out down the backside, I thought she was really in a commanding position and ran extremely well from there. I can't say enough how proud I am … a Winchell homebred. So much of the family are Winchell family horses.”
John Velazquez, jockey Untapable, 1st – “She had a race under her belt this time and obviously off a lay-off last time out she still ran a great race. Steve told me last time, “I'm not sure she's a hundred percent fit” and plus he was unsure about how she would like the track. Today he told me she was ready and she showed it. He said she was working steadily and she was mad after her last race. That was a great effort from her today. A nice effort from a nice filly.”
Ron Winchell, owner Untapable, 1st: “After the last race, when I saw her works coming up to this race it seemed like she was very upset about losing the last one. You kind of got the feeling like she was almost training herself and this was kind of the result we were expecting and hoping for. It's always tough when you're 1-9 though. I haven't really thought about the next target. When we brought her back this was the main target and so, accomplishing this, we'll look at the next options and try to figure that out.”
Jockey Cliff Berry, Diva's Diamond, 2nd “She ran fantastic. Truthfully, I was just trying to make a check and she finished great. That's the best she's ran for me and did it against some great company.”
Donnie K Von Hemel, trainer Gold Medal Dancer, 3rd: “She ran a big race. Grade 1 placed is not anything to sneeze at. We're happy with that and with her big effort. Untapable was very tough today. I could see a little different scenario where maybe we could have been second instead of third, but we're very proud of her, very proud. There's no shame in running third to Untapable in a Grade 1 race.”
Luis Quinonez, jockey Gold Medal Dancer, 3rd: “She ran good. I had a horse to the inside that bumped me a little bit and then another horse got in front of me. But she came back down the lane. She was trying. She got beat by a pretty nice filly.”
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