Aqua Regia Takes On KY Oaks Winner Untapable in Mother Goose Stakes (G1)
The script is set for a potential David and Goliath story in Belmont’s $300,000 Mother Goose (G1) to be run at a mile and a sixteenth on Saturday June 28th. St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds' Aqua Regia always seemed destined for stakes company although few could have suspected that her stakes debut would be in a Grade 1 against the likes of Untapable, the overwhelming leader of 3-year-old-filly division after an emphatic 4 ¾ lengths victory in the Kentucky Oaks.
If you are looking for a longshot, Aqua Regia has been a model of consistency with trainer Tom Albertrani since her debut as she hit the board in all of her next six career starts with earnings of over $128,000. Aqua Regia is a three-year-old filly by Pollard’s Vision out of Phu Cat (by Tabasco Cat) and she was purchased from the 2013 OBS breeze up sales. Aqua Regia will benefit from an ideal prep race that was contested at the same distance as Saturday’s Grade 1. She was forwardly placed in her last start under jockey Jose Lezcano while the favorite, Equilateral, was content to settle at the back of the pack. Aqua Regia took command of the field at the top of the stretch while still having plenty left to repel the late challenge from Equilateral who was more than 4 lengths clear of Wraith, the third place finisher. The victory prompted the connections to enter Aqua Regia in graded stakes company hoping to earn some precious graded stakes blacktype although she faces a stellar cast.
Stopchargingmaria poses a significant threat off her dazzling Black-Eyed Susan Stakes Grade 2 victory when she ran down a stubborn Vero Amore. Mike Repole’s Stopchargingmaria was arguably the best two-year-old-filly based in New York last year although she kicked off 2014 with two disappointing efforts prior to her successful trip to Pimlico. Todd Pletcher, who has captured the Mother Goose Stakes three times in the past seven years, is seeking his fifth victory in the Grade 1 Mother Goose.
Needless to say, the heavy favorite will come from the Steve Assmussen barn in Untapable, a Tapit filly that has been brilliant throughout her career with four graded stakes victories. Steve Assmussen campaigned Rachel Alexandra to a sensational victory in the 2009 edition of the Mother Goose in which she set a stakes record of 1:46.33 for 1 1/8 miles; it was the final year that the Mother Goose ran at such a distance. The connections of Untapable penciled the Mother Goose a long time in advance and even though she has been training forwardly for the race, not everything went according to plan. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez is set to replace Untapable’s regular rider Rosie Napravnik after she was injured in a training accident at Churchill. In Saturday’s Mother Goose it will be the first time John Velazquez will be aboard Untapable.
Rounding the field includes multiple graded stakes placed House Rules, the New York Bred filly Princess Violet and America. The Mother Goose Stakes has significant implications in the 3-yo filly division as many recent prominent stars have used this race as a stepping-stone for a strong summer/fall campaign.