Hidden Class Steps Up in Pepsi Untapable

September 11, 2023

Hidden Class, with Joel Rosario up, wins the fillies division of the $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sales allowance race (Grace Clark)

By Tim Wilkin for Kentucky Downs

FRANKLIN, Ky.— Another race at Kentucky Downs for Hidden Class means another trip to Kentucky Downs for James Atkins.

Hidden Class, a 2-year-old filly, will make her second appearance at the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs on Wednesday when trainer Joe Sharp saddles her in the $500,000 Pepsi Untapable Stakes.

Atkins, from Culpeper Va., owns the daughter of Catalina Cruiser along with Erich Brehm Jr., Zachary Daigle, Bob Hogan and Richard Rawlings. Hidden Class won the second race on Kentucky Downs’ opening day, Aug. 31. Atkins, who has owned horses dating back to the 1970s, said that win was the biggest of his career.

It was a $250,000 allowance race restricted to fillies that had been sold or gone through the ring at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Hidden Class, the 7-5 favorite in that race, won by 3 1/4 lengths. She was ridden by Joel Rosario, who has the return ride on Wednesday.

The Untapable, like the allowance race, is 6 1/2 furlongs.

“Joe kind of had his mind made up after that race that he was going to run in this one as long as everything was good,” Atkins, who owns Peppers Grill back home, said by phone. “He said that (allowance) race did not take a lot out of her and he felt pretty comfortable. I texted him (Monday) and asked if everything was still good, and he said she is doing good.”

Hidden Class started her career with a second-place finish at Saratoga on Aug. 3 and then broke her maiden at Kentucky Downs. Wednesday’s race will be her third in 41 days.

Hidden Class is the 7-2 morning-line favorite in the Untapable.

“The only thing that worries me is that it is kind of quick,” Atkins said.

That concern was alleviated somewhat after Adkins watched the Steve Asmussen-trained Aspenite win the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile on Sunday. Aspenite was second in the boys division of the Keeneland September sales allowance on Aug. 31 and came back on short rest.

When he came to Kentucky Downs to watch Hidden Class run on Aug. 31, Atkins and girlfriend Susan Graves made the trip by car, a nine-hour journey from Virginia.

“We’re flying out this time,” Atkins said with a laugh.

Jonathan Stettin is a New York Legend. He's been a Horseplayer, earning his living at the track, since he was 19 years old. @jonathanstettin

OTMB @OnTheMarcBet View testimonials