OKLAHOMA CITY -- With an explosive move in the stretch, Untrapped covered himself in graded black type, like one sees beside a horse's name in a stallion catalog.
Second or third in five of his last seven starts, all graded stakes, the Trappe Shot colt owned by Arkansan Mike Langford and trained by Steve Asmussen found a field of 3-year-olds he could handle Sunday night at Remington Park. Ridden confidently by Ricardo Santana Jr., Untrapped had his picture taken after the Grade 3 $440,000 Oklahoma Derby.
Untrapped outran 7-5 favorite Battle of Midway by a length and three quarters through a fast-rated nine furlongs in 1:48.62. Pacesetter Gato Del Oro hung on for third, a length ahead of Oaklawn Park winner Colonelsdarktemper. Grade 1 winner Girvin finished a troubled fifth as 8-5 second choice.
Second past the wire for the first time and third down the backstretch, Untrapped stayed in contention despite losing some ground midway on the final turn. Battle of Midway collared Gato Del Oro -- rematched from an August stake at Del Mar, won by the former -- before Santana swung Untrapped outside. From there, Untrapped strode out beautifully to the finish with Santana holding a pumped fist high as they crossed the wire.
"Ricardo has always liked the horse," said Asmussen, breaking an 0-for-21 streak in the Oklahoma Derby, "and it showed by the way he rode him tonight."
Paying $24.60 to win, Untrapped notched his first victory since a second-out maiden race last November at Churchill Downs, also with Santana aboard. The five-time Oaklawn champion lost the mount for two races, including Oaklawn's Grade 2 Rebel (second), but was back up when Untrapped finished 12th in the May 6 Kentucky Derby at 58-1 odds.
"He had run two or three races since then that were solid if not great," said Asmussen, whose Oaklawn-raced Lookin At Lee finished second in the Run for the Roses.
Untrapped finished third in the Grade 3 Ohio and Indiana derbies before Asmussen gave him some time off. Sunday's race marked the colt's first since July 15 and followed two strong works at Churchill Downs, going five furlongs in 1:01.20 Sept. 10 in company with 5-year-old Iron Fist.
"Iron Fist is a good older horse and when he ran so well earlier on the card (winning the $175,000 Governor's Cup, also with Santana up), I thought, 'You know what?"' Asmussen said with a smile.
Earning $239,847 and boosting his career bankroll to $601,755, Untrapped sent owner Langford, a commercial real-estate developer from Jonesboro, into ecstasy. Langford said in midweek that with Battle of Midway (third) and Girvin (13th) also from the Kentucky Derby, Remington Park's signature race might be the toughest for Untrapped since the first Saturday in May.
All his horse, no stranger to the dance floor, needed was a dance hall in Oklahoma open on Sunday night.Sports on 09/26/2017
Print Headline: Untrapped makes grade in Oklahoma Derby