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Aaron previews the 2022 Untapable Stakes from Fair Grounds, then gives his top picks & long shots from this prep race for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks (G1). Can the Cherie DeVaux trainee Vahva succeed while making her 2nd appearance in a points race, or is she destined to suffer another defeat? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
After winning the inaugural Untapable S. at Fair Grounds last year, trainer Brendan Walsh could make it two straight in Monday’s $100,000 renewal of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks scoring race. His filly, Pretty Mischievous, brings graded form to bear against nine aspiring rivals. Yet a couple of the stakes debutantes are coming off smashing maiden wins, suggesting they’re ready to compete for the Oaks points allotted on a 10-4-3-2-1 basis to the top five.
The first of the historic New Orleans track’s series of Oaks races preps, the Untapable will produce contenders for the Jan. 21 Silverbulletday S. Next comes the Feb. 18 Rachel Alexandra (G2), leading up to the Mar. 25 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2).
Pretty Mischievous won her first two starts by daylight at Churchill Downs. Godolphin’s homebred daughter of Into Mischief then tried the Nov. 26 Golden Rod (G2), where she ran into a buzzsaw by the name of Hoosier Philly. Pretty Mischievous was no match for her in third, but she missed second by only a neck. Brian Hernandez Jr. picks up the mount on the stalker, who will break from the rail.
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Outstanding young sire Gun Runner, who is honored by the Road to the Kentucky Derby event one race earlier at Fair Grounds, has a prime player in Vahva. Arguably a tad unfortunate not to score at Saratoga, the Cherie DeVaux trainee impressed on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” card at Churchill Downs. She renews her partnership with Luis Saez.
Brad Cox sends out The Alys Look, a front-running, seven-length maiden winner at this track and mile and 70-yard trip. All About Me and Two Minute Drill were respectively second and third in a course-and-distance allowance to highly-regarded Batucada. All About Me’s trainer, Michael Stidham, has another chance with last-out Laurel maiden winner Hang the Moon. Hayunevano, a debut third to Miss Shipman sprinting here, promptly wired a 1 1/16-mile maiden next time.
Just Like Magic was a promising Churchill maiden winner over the summer. Trained by Tom Amoss, the Good Magic filly wasn’t seen again until a Nov. 27 allowance, where she was along belatedly for fifth to Cotton Candy Annie in the slop. Just Like Magic is eligible to benefit from that tightener. Cotton Candy Annie captured her Churchill allowance first off the $50,000 claim by Armando Hernandez.
The Untapable is scheduled to go off at 6:30 p.m. (ET), as the 12th of a banner 13-race program at Fair Grounds.
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