Wicked Halo Comfortably Cruises In Tepin

July 3, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Winchell Thoroughbred’s homebred Wicked Halo, the odds-on 1-5 favorite, was rated in third down the backstretch before easily dispatching her three rivals in the stretch to comfortably win Saturday’s third running of the $188,500 Tepin Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Wicked Halo completed one mile on a “fast” track in 1:36.91. 

Heartyconstitution, the 9-5 second betting choice, went to the front with Verylittlecentson her right hip and Wicked Halo relaxed and in the clear on the outside in third. After a quarter mile in :23.08 and a half-mile in :45.57, Wicked Halo came off the turn in front and kicked away for a 4 ¾-length win over Heartyconstitution, who finished a neck in front of a rallying Zawish. 

“She was very professional today and handled things very well out on the track,” Gaffalione said. “We sat a perfect trip just off of the early pace and turning for home she was able to separate from the other fillies.”

Wicked Halo paid $2.60 and $2.10. Heartyconstitution, with Luis Saez up, returned $2.40 to place. There was no show wagering. Zawish and Verylittlecents completed the order of finish in the compact field of four following the scratches of Patna, Runaway Wife and Sandstone. 

With her win Saturday, Wicked Halo, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Gun Runner out of the Tapit mare Just Wicked, improved her record to 4-0-3 in eight starts with purse earnings of $436,550. Saturday’s victory was worth $123,500.

The winner of the Grade II Adirondack at Saratoga at 2, Wicked Halo has won two consecutive stakes at 3. Previously, she won the $158,700 Leslie’s Lady Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs 20 days ago on June 12.

“We were a little aggressive with her as a 2-year-old to get (sire) Gun Runner off to a fast start,” Asmussen said. “Today she ran the longest race of her career at a mile and handled everything beautifully. She won very professionally and is a very solid filly. We are fortunate to have her.”

The Tepin is named after the brilliant two-time Eclipse Award-winning turf mare in 2015-16.

TEPIN QUOTES

Tyler Gaffalione (jockey, Wicked Halo, winner) – “She was very professional today and handled things very well out on the track. We sat a perfect trip just off of the early pace and turning for home she was able to separate from the other fillies.”

Steve Asmussen (trainer, Wicked Halo, winner) – “We were a little aggressive with her as a 2-year-old to get (sire) Gun Runner off to a fast start. Today she ran the longest race of her career at a mile and handled everything beautifully. She won very professionally and is a very solid filly. We are fortunate to have her.”

Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo by Coady Photography

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