LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For the second time in three years, Rosie got the lilies.
Rosie Napravnik and heavy favorite Untapable dominated the $1 million Kentucky Oaks by 4 1/2 lengths over My Miss Sophia Friday before a crowd of 113,071 at cool, overcast Churchill Downs. In 2012, Napravnik became the first woman rider to take the fillies' Derby. The year before, she was second.
Before the Oaks, she said, "I own this race," and she did despite breaking from the outside in a field of 12 and being wide throughout."I wasn't worried about the post like some other people were," she said. "She gives me the ear twitch when she wants to go. She's maturing and she's magnificent."
It was the second Oaks win for trainer Steve Asmussen, the target of allegations by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that he mistreated horses in his care.
"Under the circumstances, it couldn't be bigger," he said, after yelling "C'mon, baby girl!" as Untapable drew clear. He expressed his gratitude to owner Ron Winchell for sticking with him and "seeing this through."
Asmussen won the 2009 Preakness with the filly Rachel Alexandra and raised the possibility of running Untapable against the boys May 17 at Pimlico, especially if Winchell's colt Tapiture, also trained by Asmussen, doesn't run well Saturday in the Derby. "I think Tapiture would have to speed up to catch her," the trainer said.
Untapable paid $4 for her third consecutive win after running 11/8 miles in 1:48.68.Empress of Midway was scratched after losing her balance in the gate. Veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage said there was "nothing obviously wrong with her" but that she would be re-examined.