Horse racing notes: Little competition for Untapable today
Untapable looks unbeatable.
With that in mind, New York Racing Association oddsmaker Eric Donovan made the daughter of Tapit 1-5 on the morning line against five rivals for today’s Grade I Mother Goose at Belmont Stakes.
This will be Untapable’s first start in New York, after having laid waste to the competition in New Orleans and Louisville, Ky., this year.
Untapable has won three graded stakes — the Rachel Alexandra and Fair Grounds Oaks at Fair Grounds, and the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs — by a combined 21 3⁄4 lengths.
After the Oaks race, there was speculation that she might come back in the Preakness, as trainer Steve Asmussen did with Rachel Alexandra in 2009.
Asmussen and owner Ron Winchell have chosen to keep her in the 3-year-old filly division, though, where she hasn’t found any competition.
“She’s special,” Asmussen told the Churchill press office after Untapable breezed four furlongs in 49.60 on Monday. “You realize how fortunate we are to be around her. She’s just a tremendous talent, and it’s exciting and fun to have her.”
John Velazquez has the mount on Untapable while her regular rider, Rosie Napravnik, continues to recover from a shoulder injury suffered on June 15 while exercising Socialbug, who was euthanized.
The Mother Goose is the fourth race on the card, with a scheduled post time of 2:53 p.m.
Untapable will break from post No. 2.
At 8-1, Stopchargingmaria, the Black Eyed Susan winner, was the only other filly listed under 10-1, but trainer Todd Pletcher told The Daily News Friday night that his filly will scratch from the Mother Goose and wait for the Coaching Club of America Oaks.
The Belmont card also includes the Grade II New York for fillies and mares at a mile and a quarter on the turf.
Tannery, who won the Grade I E.P. Taylor at Woodbine last year, is 9-5. Eighth in the New York last year, she raced against males twice since then, a fourth in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga and a third in the Red Smith at Belmont.
Tannery will break from the hedge just inside 2-1 Riposte, a Juddmonte Farms 4-year-old who raced in Europe before being brought to the U.S. in 2014. Riposte has hit the board in all four starts, most recently a win in the Sheepshead Bay.
Tannery’s only start this year was a win in the Miss Liberty.
“We got what we were looking for,” trainer Alan Goldberg said. “She might prefer a little more ground, but we’re pointing her towards the Diana, so we’re going to have to turn her back, anyway.”
Also of interest in the card is the seventh race, an allowance that has drawn Capo Bastone.
The 7-2 third choice won the King’s Bishop at Saratoga last year, but hasn’t fared well while testing deep waters since then, so the drop-down in class seems logical.
He’s been well off the board in four starts since the King’s Bishop, including an 11th to Palace Malice in the Met Mile.
Discipline is pending in the wake of a fistfight between trainer Dale Romans and newsletter publisher Ed Musselman on the backstretch at Churchill Downs during training hours on Thursday.
Musselman, who writes the “Indian Charlie” leaflet, recently had written some scathing shots about Romans and his training practices. The dust-up at Churchill left Musselman with a black eye, scrapes on his face and a cut on his arm, and Romans had a welt on his head that he said was the result of crashing into a picnic table.
“He looked at me, and I said, ‘Why do you keep writing about me?’ and he swung without being provoked in any way,” Romans told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “Then the fight broke out, and he got [messed] up, for the record.”
Musselman has been banned from the Churchill grounds until the matter is resolved by track administrators.
Earlier this year, his print publication was banned for distribution at all NYRA tracks, Churchill Downs, Keeneland and tracks owned by Frank Stronach for insensitive wisecracks about Mexicans.
MORE WEEKEND STAKES
Santa Anita will host the 75th Grade I Gold Cup today, adding the race to its schedule for the first time since Hollywood Park was closed.
The Gold Cup features a rematch between Game On Dude, who won it the last two years, and Imperative, who beat Game On Dude by a length and a half in their last start, the Charles Town Classic.
Game On Dude is the 4-5 favorite.
The card also includes the Grade I Triple Bend, where Sahara Sky is 8-5. He won the Met Mile last year, then took a long break before returning this season. He won the San Carlos for the second year in a row in March.
A nice card at Prairie Meadows includes the Iowa Derby, Iowa Oaks and Cornhusker, which has drawn Travers co-winner Golden Ticket.
Ria Antonia, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies by disqualification last year, is entered in the Oaks off a 10th in the Preakness.
Louisiana Derby winner Vicar’s in Trouble, who was last of 19 in the Kentucky Derby, is a slight 3-1 favorite in the well-balanced Iowa Derby.