Wicked Halo Returns to Churchill Downs in $300K Open Mind

September 11, 2023

Wicked Halo ahead of her victory in the Twin Bridges July 23 at Ellis Park (Coady Photography)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Winchell Thoroughbreds’ multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter Wicked Halo headlines a field of six fillies and mares that entered Saturday’s 14th running of the $300,000 Open Mind (Listed) at Churchill Downs.

Run at six furlongs, the Open Mind is one of five stakes events on the Saturday card. The Open Mind will go as Race 6 of 11 with a post time of 3:18 p.m. The other stakes on the card are the $400,000 Locust Grove (GIII), $300,000 Iroquois (GIII), $300,000 Pocahontas (GIII) and $300,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society. First post is 12:45 p.m.

Eight-time winner Wicked Halo drew post No. 2 in the Open Mind. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Wicked Halo has been the mark of consistency throughout her 15-race career. The daughter of Gun Runner has only finished off the board once and has banked purse earnings of $1,297,700. Wicked Halo’s résumé includes victories in the Prioress (GII), Raven Run (GII) and Twin Bridges Stakes which she won seven weeks ago at Ellis Park. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione will be back aboard Wicked Halo in the Open Mind.

Chief among Wicked Halo’s rivals in the Open Mind is Mr. and Mrs. Tsunebumi Yoshihara’s five-time winner Yuugiri. Trained by Rodolphe Brisset, the speedy Yuugiri set the pace in the 2022 Longines Kentucky Oaks (GIII) but faded to 13th. Following the Oaks, Brisset cut Yuugiri back in distance to one-turn and has notched victories in the Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn and Saylorville Stakes at Prairie Meadows. Jockey Flavien Prat has the mount from the rail.

Here is the complete field for the Open Mind from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Yuugiri (Prat, Brisset); Wicked Halo (Gaffalione, Asmussen); Fire On Time (Martin Garcia, Dale Romans); More Than Vows (Rafael Bejarano, Brian Lynch); Ten Rings (Joe Talamo, Jeff Engler); and Sharp Hero (Julien Leparoux, Bradley Ross).

@jonathanstettin  Morning Jonathan, I just read your Piece on its not a Santa Anita thing IT WAS OUTSTANDING. I have been playing horses for 42 yrs since my father 1st brought me to Washington Park. I could not agree with you more. There must be 1 governing board and a commissioner.

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