Wicked Halo

Wicked Halo Storms To Matron S. Win At Oaklawn

Despite inclement weather in the Hot Springs area on Friday afternoon, Wicked Halo (Gun Runner) returned to action off the break and won the inaugural running of the Matron S. over a wet track with Tyler Gaffalione in-town to ride for the weekend. The 4-year-old filly was making her first start of the year for trainer Steve Asmussen after she ran third in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 5. Prior to that, the classy sprinter strung together a number of stakes victories starting as...

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Mar. 2 Insights: Full-Brother to Wicked Halo Debuts at Fair Grounds

8th-FG, $50k, Msw, 3yo, 6f, 5:45 p.m. ET WICKED AGAIN (Gun Runner), a full-brother to MGSW and last term's GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint third-place finisher Wicked Halo, kicks off his career for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. The Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred, drawn on the inside in post two and favored on the morning line at 5-2, fired back-to-back, five-furlong bullets for this, including a 1:00 2/5 (1/8) drill Feb. 21. Wicked Again's dam Just Wicked (Tapit) won the 2015 GII Adirondack S. at Saratoga. The field of...

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Gun Runner's Wicked Halo Streaks to Raven Run Win

Sent off the lukewarm 5-2 choice, Winchell Thoroughbred's Wicked Halo (Gun Runner) made that price seem like a gift after rolling home an emphatic four-length winner in Saturday's GII Lexus Raven Run S. at Keeneland. Settled in third, Wicked Halo waited as Smash Ticket (Midnight Lute) sprinted to the front and carved out an opening quarter in :22.73 while Freedom Speaks (American Freedom) pressed the issue. Three wide and ready to pounce at any moment following a half in :46.09, Wicked Halo collared the front-running duo while fanned out several...

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NY-Bred Fingal's Cave Puts Unbeaten Mark on Line in Raven Run

New York-bred Fingal's Cave (Carpe Diem), perfect in four career starts in the Big Apple, takes on graded stakes company for the first time in Saturday's GII Lexus Raven Run S. at Keeneland. The bay cuts back in distance to seven furlongs after capturing her stakes debut in Saratoga's Fleet Indian S. versus state-breds going 1 1/8 miles in the mud Aug. 26. "At some point, we will challenge her and this seems to be a good spot," trainer David Donk said. "The Raven Run is for straight 3-year-olds, it's...

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Sophomore Fillies Star on Final Friday Card at Saratoga

Sophomore filly sprinters get their time to shine on the final Friday of the Saratoga meet in the GII Prioress S. Hot Peppers (Khozan) seeks redemption after being run down late and forced to settle for second last out in the Aug. 6 GI Test S. at this venue. She captured her first two starts for the Rudy Rodriguez barn in the June 12 Jersey Girl S. and July 9 GIII Victory Ride S. "She's doing everything we ask her. We're just lucky they picked us and give us the...

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Matareya Tough To Go Past in Eight Belles

Godolphin's progressive Matareya (Pioneerof the Nile) goes for a third consecutive victory and second at the graded level when she lines up against nine sprinting sophomore fillies in Friday's GII Eight Belles S. at Churchill Downs. An easy first-out winner at Ellis last August, the homebred was second to Marissa's Lady (Violence) in this track's Fern Creek S. Nov. 27 ahead of a distant runner-up effort behind GI Longines Kentucky Oaks hopeful Secret Oath (Arrogate) in a one-mile Oaklawn allowance Dec. 31. The bay returned to winning ways with a...

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Taking Stock: Gun Runner Flexes Candy Ride/Storm Cat Nick

Two sons of Candy Ride (Arg)--Gun Runner and Twirling Candy--were represented by three 2-year-old Grade l winners over the weekend, and do you know one thing they had in common? Each was produced by a Storm Cat-line mare. This affinity for the Storm Cat line was also an important feature of Candy Ride's own success, and breeders appear to be copying that formula with his sons. It's not surprising; it's something that usually happens when a stallion is successful with the females of another sire line, and this type of...

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Silver State Possible For Woodward Or Kelso

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing's Silver State (Hard Spun), who had a six-race winning streak snapped with a third-place effort behind Knicks Go (Paynter) in the GI Whitney S. Aug. 7, going remain at the nine-furlong distance for the GI Woodward S. Oct. 2 or could cut back to Belmont's one-turn mile for the GII Kelso S. Sept. 25. The 4-year-old has already shown an affinity for the latter track and trip, having made the GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan H. the last of his half-dozen victories in a...

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Top Gun Lands Running

Everyone knows how the system works; how lavishly choreographed is the promotion of new sires. Center stage is cleared, the footlights are turned up, the make-up and costume departments go into overdrive. But we also know that most of them will go out there, clear their throats nervously, and murmur a few lines that barely qualify them, in the longer term, for a place in the back row of the chorus line. Every now and then, however, one of these rookies steps up and you sense within moments that a...

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Nine Maiden Winners Seek First Stakes Win in Adirondack

A field of nine maiden special weight winners--eight of them at first asking--line up in search of their first black-type win in the GII Adirondack S. going 6 1/2 panels Sunday at Saratoga. Both Mainstay (Astern {Aus}) and Saucy Lady T (Tonalist) are exiting the July 15 GIII Schuylerville S. over the track, where they finished one-two, respectively, while Ontheonesandtwos (Jimmy Creed) and Wicked Halo (Gun Runner) filled the same spots in the June 26 Debutante S. at Churchill Downs. Morning-line favorite is Deuce Greathouse, Cindy M. Hutson, Madaket Stables...

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