Fresh off a 9 1/4-length drubbing of her own division in the June 28 Mother Goose Invitational (gr. I) at Belmont Park and undefeated this season in four starts for Winchell Thoroughbreds, the 3-year-old filly seeks a bigger challenge July 27 in the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
Not only could Untapable maintain her status as the top 3-year-old filly in the country with a victory over eight colts, but she could earn her way into the Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park. The Haskell is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event for the Classic division.
Untapable, the 2-1 favorite on the morning line from post 7 under regular rider Rosie Napravnik, has won her races this year by a combined 31 lengths. The daughter of Tapit last tackled the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Haskell in the May 2 Longines Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), which she won by 4 1/2 lengths. Trainer Steve Asmussen has sent her to six wins from eight starts overall. He also trained 2009 Haskell winner Rachel Alexandra during a season that resulted in her achieving Horse of the Year status.
"I think it's an excellent draw considering the field," Asmussen said of Untapable's post position. "With the performance she gave in the Kentucky Oaks and how she's trained since, we felt that this was the right time to give the Haskell a chance. We've had a great year with her so far. We're very pleased that she could continue to give more of the same as far as just being a nice, talented filly that's doing extremely well."
Dual grade I winner Goldencents returns to Del Mar to face recent Triple Bend (gr. I) winner Declassify in the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) July 26, a race the Doug O'Neill trainee finished second in last year.
Runner-up to Palace Malice in his most recent start, the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 7, Goldencents will be cutting back to six furlongs in the Crosby. The 4-year-old Into Mischief colt missed by a head to posthumous Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Points Offthebench in the 2013 Crosby.
This year's Bing Crosby is the eighth of 10 races on Del Mar's Sunday card with a 5:30 p.m. PDT scheduled post. A field of eight is signed on. The winner of this year's race, if nominated, earns automatic entry into the 2014 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) this fall at Santa Anita Park.
Interestingly, only three of the Crosby entrants have ever raced on turf, and only one, Indexical, has a victory. Indexical won an optional claiming race on the Santa Anita hillside turf course May 17.
Goldencents also ran second on Del Mar's Polytrack in last year's Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II), followed in the fall by a gate-to-wire 2 3/4-length score in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I). The bay colt's only start this season came in the Met Mile, when he took the lead after pressing the pace into the stretch but yielded in the drive to Palace Malice.
Rafael Bejarano was injured at the time but will be back aboard Goldencents, who drew post 2 as the 123-pound co-top weight in the Crosby. Since transferring to Del Mar from Santa Anita earlier this month, Goldencents has posted back-to-back bullet moves, most recently clocking three furlongs July 24 in a sizzling :34 1/5. A five-time winner with five seconds from 14 lifetime races for W.C. Racing, Goldencents has banked $2,224,000.