Elmont, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Leading 3-year-old filly Untapable overcame an early problem and easily defeated four challengers in Saturday's $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.
Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, Untapable went off as the 1-20 favorite in the five-horse field for the 1 1/16-mile stakes. Velazquez picked up the mount for the injured Rosie Napravnik. .
Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, Untapable had to be taken up shortly after the start when Princess Violet, ridden by Jose Ortiz, crossed over in front of the favorite.
Princess Violet set the pace up the backstretch with Untapable in third on the outside behind America. House Rules was fourth in the early going and Aqua Regia was last after getting a poor start.
Untapable went wide around the far turn into second and drew even with Princess Violet in mid-turn. The Kentucky Oaks champ assumed the lead leaving the final turn and quickly drew away from the rest of the field.
The favorite cruised to an 9 1/4-length victory followed by Princess Violet, America, House Rules and Aqua Regia. Stopchargingmaria was an early scratch.
"She turned off right after a little trouble at the start and was pretty relaxed," Asmussen noted. "She picked it up when she needed to and appeared to be looking around quite a bit in the stretch, but it was her first time (at Belmont). All of her previous victories had been where she was training, so I think that this was a pretty good step. I think she's a very special filly."
Untapable just missed the stakes record of 1:41.36 set last year by Close Hatches with a final time of 1:41.48.
With the win, Untapable became the first 3-year-old filly to win both the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose since Rachel Alexandra in 2009.
"There's definitely the thought of running her against the boys," said Asmussen. "I think that this was a very good obstacle for her, as far as shipping and running, because of how bad her Breeders' Cup was. Maturity, time, confidence, how she acted pre-race in the paddock today, all of those are steps in the right direction, and it will be an interesting conversation with (owner) Ron (Winchell) after today's win.
"She'll ship up to Saratoga to train on Monday. (The Coaching Club American Oaks on July 20 at Saratoga) is a very lucrative race that is there, but I don't want to speak for Ron at this point. We're aware that (the Haskell) is there and the timing is excellent. It's nice to have a horse like her because you can consider races as good as these."
Saturday's victory was worth $180,000 and the fourth in as many starts this year for the 3-year-old. She has earned $1,116,600 this season and $1,304,725 in eight lifetime starts with six wins.
Untapable began the year with consecutive victories at Fair Grounds with the Rachel Alexandra and Fair Grounds Oaks. The filly captured the Kentucky Oaks on May 2 by 4 1/2 lengths with Napravnik in the saddle. The female rider was injured two weeks ago at Churchill Downs during a training session.
Untapable returned $2.10 and $2.10, and Princess Violet paid $3.70 for place. There was no show wagering.