Yuugiri Pulls Away To Win $300K Open Mind

September 16, 2023

Yuugiri victorious in the Open Mind under Flavien Prat (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Mr. and Mrs. Tsunebumi Yoshihara’s Yuugiri overcame a stumble leaving the gate, stalked pacesetter Fire On Time from the inside and tipped out down the stretch to collar the leader inside the final sixteenth of a mile and win Saturday’s 14th running of the $300,000 Open Mind (Listed) at Churchill Downs by three lengths. Odds-on 1-4 favorite Wicked Halo never threatened and finished third.

Ridden by Flavien Prat for trainer Rodolphe Brisset, Yuugiri ran six furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.43.

Yuugiri went to her knees from post position No. 1 when the gates opened and the usual front-runner was forced to track four-time Churchill Downs winner Fire On Time from the inside. After splits of :22.09 and :45.20, Prat took Yuugiri off the rail and angled out for her run down the stretch. After five furlongs in :57.08, Fire On Time began to retreat and Yuugiri cruised right on by for the comfortable win.

“She broke a step slow but was able to relax and really finish well,” Prat said. “She showed a new style today.”

Via @TVG on Twitter

Yuugiri banked the $185,000 first prize and improved her record to six wins, two seconds and one third in 13 starts. Her career earnings total $979,010. The Open Mind was her fourth career stakes triumph.

“We’ve tried her on a couple different surfaces this year but she’s shown success on the dirt,” Brisset said. “Today, after she broke slow, she showed a new dimension relaxing in the pocket. She’s an accomplished filly who’s won several stakes throughout her career. We’re very proud of how she won this race today.”

Yuugiri returned $8.74, $7.26 and $2.10. Fire On Time, ridden by Martin Garcia, returned $11.06 and $2.30 with Wicked Halo another 5 ¾ lengths back in third under Tyler Gaffalione and paying $2.10 to show.

More Than Vows was fourth and was followed by Sharp Hero. Ten Rings was scratched.

Yuugiri is a 4-year-old daughter of Shackleford out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Yuzuru and was bred in Kentucky by her owners.

Saturday’s race saluted the late Eugene Klein’s Hall of Fame filly Open Mind, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained winner of the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) at Churchill Downs who returned to the Louisville track the following spring to win the Kentucky Oaks. The New Jersey-bred filly was an Eclipse Award champion at ages two and three. A winner of 12 races and $1,844,372 in 19 starts, the daughter of Deputy Minister was enshrined in Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

@jonathanstettin @bbopjz agree , but in my opinion Mr. Stettin remains second to none …….

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