Untapable comes out of Kentucky Oaks in fine form; could be Preakness contender
Rosie Napravnik rides Untapable to victory during the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks horse race at Churchill Downs Friday, May 2, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Mike Farrell, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, May 3, 2014 5:20PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 3, 2014 5:31PM EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Untapable was in fine form the morning after her impressive win in the Kentucky Oaks, according to trainer Steve Asmussen.
The filly just might be the best 3-year-old this season, having dominated in her three stakes wins. Her time of 1:48.68 for the 1 1/8 miles in Friday's Oaks was only 0.04 seconds slower than Bird Town's stakes record in 2003. She was ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who won her second Oaks.
"We are very proud of her race," Asmussen said. "Not only did she beat a quality field, she did it impressively."
The latest victory raised the prospect that Untapable's next start could be against the boys in the Preakness on May 17.
Asmussen has already won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown with a filly, Rachel Alexandra in 2009. He was reluctant to make a Preakness commitment, pending how Tapiture fared in the Derby.
Both horses are owned by Ron Winchell, whose father Verne founded a donut chain that bears the family name.
"I think it would be a very wise decision for us to keep them apart," Asmussen said.
LOST WEEKEND: It's been a tough week for Big Bazinga.
His owners originally planned to run him in the Derby but the gelding lacked enough qualifying points.
He is just 1 for 7, and most recently ran fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes.
Rather than gamble on a spot opening in the maximum 20-horse Derby, they opted for the $250,000 American Turf on Saturday's undercard.
It turned into a completely lost weekend when Big Bazinga was forced to scratch after developing a cough.
DERBY DAY SPILL: Two jockeys were taken to a local hospital following a three-horse spill in an early race on the card.
Ranger Regiment, with Marcelino Pedroza aboard, fell during the run down the backstretch. James Graham was tossed to the track when Swift Humor ran into the fallen horse. In the chaos, Megan Fadlovich was knocked off Grand Slam Kid.
Fadlovich was removed on a stretcher, complaining of concussion symptoms. She was a later released with a possible left knee fracture. The leg was wrapped, and she returned to Churchill Downs to watch the Derby.
Pedroza was taken for observation complaining of lower back pain. The CAT scans were negative and he was scheduled for release later in the afternoon.
Graham walked off uninjured.
The three horses involved all bounced up and walked back to the barn area unharmed, according to track veterinarian Dr. Will Farmer.
Victor Espinoza, the rider of California Chrome in the Derby, was never in jeopardy. He won the race with the front running Masochistic, and was well clear of the fallen horses and riders.