Winchell Thoroughbreds' Untapable, winner of the 2014 Breeders' Cup Distaff, will not get the chance to defend her title in that spot as the champion filly spiked a fever and was declared out of the 1 1/8-miles race on Tuesday.
Owner Ron Winchell said that Untapable "scoped with a bit of mucus" after working four furlongs in 50.20 on Monday. The 4-year-old daughter of Tapit was attempting to join Bayakoa (1989-1990) and Royal Delta (2011-2012) as the only horses to win back-to-back editions of the Distaff.
"She got a slight temperature. She scoped with a little bit of mucus...and we were hoping for the best. Unfortunately, it's the right thing to do. You have to treat her with some antibiotics and that pretty much declares her out of the race. She's done so much for us and we just want to be careful.
"We trained her lightly all year basically preparing for this event. So, disappointment is an understatement."
Untapable had drawn post No. 11 in the 14-horse field for the Distaff as was installed with 5-to-1 odds on the morning line. Untapable's defection allows Grade I winner Peace and War, third in the Grade I Cotillion Stakes on September 19, to draw in off the also-eligible list into the Distaff field.
The 2015 season has been a downcast one for Untapable. After winning six of seven starts last year en route to being named champion 3-year-old filly, Untapable has only been victorious in one of six starts in 2015 - though that win did come in the Grade I Apple Blossom.
In her most recent start, Untapable was beaten a neck by Got Lucky in the Grade I Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland on October 4. Winchell said that while no firm decisions have been made for next year, he is currently leaning towards keeping his filly in training for her 5-year-old campaign.
"I haven't made my mind up but I'm probably leaning towards running her next year," Winchell said "That's my first thought, especially after having to scratch out of this race. It kind of makes you want to come back and attempt one more."
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Untapable has won nine of 17 starts with earnings of $3,816,725.