Untapable gives mother-to-be a Distaff win
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
ARCADIA California (Reuters) - Untapable justified her billing as the overwhelming favorite with a superb finish down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park on Friday.
Expertly ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who said after the race she was pregnant and would be retiring, the three-year-old filly surged past Iotapa from the outside on the final turn to win by one and one-quarter lengths and improve to eight wins in 11 starts.
Napravnik, the first female jockey to compete in all three jewels of the Triple Crown, became the first woman to win the Distaff, which was previously known as the Ladies' Classic.
"She was unbelievable today," Napravnik, 26, said about Untapable. "She broke well. We settled into a good spot, and down the backside I could not have had more confidence.
"She was just very powerful underneath me, and she started to take me when she was ready to move. We were wide around the second turn, but I was just sitting on go, and she was waiting on my call. She just ran excellent today."
Iotapa, with Joseph Talamo on board, had to settle for third after finishing a nose behind Don't Tell Sophia in the day's feature race.
Kentucky-bred four-year-old Close Hatches, a 3-1 choice and runner-up in the Distaff last year, had been expected to give Untapable her biggest challenge but she faded from fourth place at the halfway stage to finish last in a field of 11.
Napravnik, the only woman to have won the Kentucky Oaks, which she has done twice, stunned the Santa Anita crowd shortly after the race when she announced she was quitting the sport as she and her husband, trainer Joe Sharp, were starting a family. Continued...