Untrapped Gives Asmussen First Oklahoma Derby Victory

Michael Langford’s Untrapped came off a two-month break to run past Battle of Midway in Sunday’s Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby, cruising under the wire a two-length winner. The 3-year-old son of Trappe Shot, ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., pressed the pace early, dropped back slightly, and came running again in the lane to give Steve Asmussen his first Oklahoma Derby victory in the trainer’s 22nd try. At odds of 11-1, Untrapped defeated the 7-5 favorite Battle of Midway to win his first graded stake, also giving Asmussen and Santana their fourth win on the card. Untrapped recorded a final time over Remington Park’s fast main track of 1:48.62 for 1 1/8 miles. Second choice Girvin, 8-5, finished off the board in fifth.

“Remington means a ton to me; the first time we were ever leading trainer was here in ’92,” Asmussen said. “Hopefully this will be the first of many.”

Last seen running third in the G3 Indiana Derby on July 15, Untrapped had a solid two-month break before entering the Oklahoma Derby starting gate against a field of 10 sophomores. The colt was sharp, and left the gate on nearly even terms with the stakes-placed Gato del Oro. Holding the rail position, Santana and Untrapped were a neck behind Gato del Oro through the first quarter-mile, clocked in :23.90.

Down the backstretch, B Squared came up to challenge Gato del Oro for the lead, allowing Santana to relax briefly with Untrapped. As they passed the half-mile in :47.54, the entire field comprised only eight lengths, and it compressed down to six lengths through six furlongs in 1:11.45.

Jockeys began to wrangle for position around the far turn, and Santana lost the rail spot to longshot Altito, who passed him on the inside. That move forced Untrapped to wait behind a wall of horses as the field turned for home, Gato del Oro the slight leader in front of a closing Battle of Midway, third in the Kentucky Derby, and West Virginia Derby winner Colonelsdarktemper.

At the three-sixteenths pole, Santana had room to swing to the far outside with Untrapped and the colt engaged willingly. Battle of Midway was dueling with Gato del Oro and had just put away that rival when Untrapped came flying by in the center of the course. Santana gave an exuberant fist-pump as Untrapped crossed the finish line nearly two full lengths in front of Battle of Midway. Gato del Oro was able to hold third over Colonelsdarktemper. Girvin finished fifth after trailing the field early.

“I thought Ricardo took advantage of the horse today,” said Asmussen. “He put him in a good spot, let him settle behind, and had enough to finish with.”

Bred in Kentucky by Indian Creek and Jonathan Sheppard, Untrapped first sold as a short yearling at Keeneland January for $97,000. At the September sale the colt commanded $150,000, but Langford was able to purchase him for $125,000 as a juvenile at the OBS April sale. After breaking his maiden in November of his 2-year-old season, Untrapped made his next two starts at the Fair Grounds, finishing second in both the Lecomte and Risen Star.

Transferred to Oaklawn Park, Untrapped finished third in the Rebel and sixth in the Arkansas Derby, earning him just enough points to make the Kentucky Derby field. Twelfth in the Run for the Roses, Untrapped returned to run third in both the Ohio and Indiana Derbies in June and July. Overall, the colt’s record stands at 2-3-3 from 10 starts, with earnings of nearly $600,000.

Trainer Steve Asmussen receives his first Oklahoma Derby win with a powerful performance by UNTRAPPED & @RSantana_jr @RemingtonPark! pic.twitter.com/VJR1VPo1en

— TVG (@TVG) September 25, 2017

The post Untrapped Gives Asmussen First Oklahoma Derby Victory appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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