LOUISVILLE, Ky-- With track announcer Larry Collmus saying she was "un-stoppable, un-catchable," Untapable surged past My Miss Sophia late in the home stretch, winning the 140th edition of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs late Friday afternoon.
Untapable was ridden by 26-year Rosie Napravnik, the 1st and still only woman jockey to win the Oaks. The New Jersey native first won the all-fillies race 2 years ago, aboard Believe You Can.
Untapable had been an overwhelming favorite in the $1 million race for 3-year-olds. it was the filly's 3rd straight win, the 5th in her 7 lifetime starts. Those last 3 wins have chalked up total victory margins of nearly lengths over the 2nd-place horses.
Untapable was near the early leaders before making her move at the final turn. Her winning time, 1:48.68, was the 2nd-fastest mile-and-an-8th Oaks pace ever.
Untapable's payouts to bettors were $4 to win, $3.20 to place, $2.60 to show. From 2nd, My Miss Sophia returned $4.20 and $4.40, and Unbridled Forever paid $6.00.
The race was nearly marred by an equine injury. It started several minutes late, after all the horses had to be taken out of the starting gate and reloaded in. Empress of Midway, partly owned by Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino, was unhurt after flipping upside down in the gate. She was scratched, however, not competing when things finally got underway.
For Saturday's Derby, the scratch of 2nd-favorite Hoppertunity and the fact also-eligible Pablo Del Monte was not installed in the field by his owners and trainer, moves the 1st 10 horses in the race 1 starting spot to the right. That could make it easier for Napravnik to make history, as the 1st woman to ever ride a Derby winner. She'll be starting from the #2 spot, aboard Vicar's In Trouble. No #1 horse has won the Derby since 1986, or finished in the money since 1988, since it's so difficult to get to a good position from a start on the rail. The move right will give the entire field a little more breathing room.
Official Oaks attendance is listed at 113,701, the 3rd-biggest crowd ever, on the day that's essentially a holiday around Louisville.