TK Stables’ Devious Intent, upset winner over 2012 Eclipse Award champion Groupie Doll in Ellis Park’s Grade III Gardenia, and Joseph W. Sutton’s Burban, runner-up in the Grade I Humana Distaff on Kentucky Derby Day, loom as likely favorites in a field of six fillies and mares ages three and up entered to compete in Saturday’s fifth running of the $100,000-added Open Mind Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The six-furlong race on the main track is the featured ninth event on a 10-race program set for the second Saturday of Churchill Downs’ September Meet. Post time for the first race on Saturday, Sept. 14 is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Open Mind will go at 4:59 p.m.
Devious Intent, a 4-year-old filly trained by Kellyn Gorder, is coming off a signature victory in the Gardenia, a one-mile race in which she defeated Magic Hour and third-place Groupie Doll, the 2012 Eclipse Award filly and mare sprint champion who was making her first start of the year. It was the fourth victory in 15 career races for Devious Intent, who has earned $276,309.
Roberto Morales was aboard Devious Intent in the Gardenia and gets a return call in the Open Mind. Devious Intent will break from post three and will carry high weight of 122 pounds, conceding two pounds to each of her five rivals.
The Eddie Kenneally-trained Burban chased Aubby K home in the slop in her runner-up finish in the $300,000-added Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. She returned with a disappointing fourth-place finish beneath the Twin Spires in the Winning Colors (GIII) on May 27, but rebounded to score a front-running 3 ¼-length victory in the Roxelana overnight stakes on June 22. She traveled to Saratoga on July 29 to run fifth behind Dance to Bristol in the six-furlong Honorable Miss (GII).
Churchill Downs was the site of all but one of Burban’s five career wins and she has a record of 4-2-0 in seven races over her home track. The 5-year-old daughter of Speightstown has earned $283,736 and has won four of six races at the Open Mind’s six-furlong distance. Shaun Bridgmohan, who has ridden Burban in her last three races, will be aboard Saturday when she breaks from post six in the Open Mind.
A threat to the top pair is posed by Gillian S. Campbell, Ralph and Shelly Stayer and Andrew Pajak’s Vuitton, a 4-year-old Smart Strike filly trained by Steve Asmussen. The Open Mind will be Vuitton’s first start since a third-place finish behind Beat the Blues in the Winning Colors and she defeated that rival prior to that outing in Oaklawn Park’s Carousel in April. The consistent filly brings a record of 5-6-2 in 14 starts into the Open Mind. Ricardo Santana Jr. will ride Vuitton from the rail post.
Dan Considine and Steve C. Snowden’s Sweet Cassiopeia, winner of the Giant’s Causeway at five furlongs on turf at Keeneland in late April, returns to competition for the first time since a fifth-place run in the Grade I Princess Rooney at Calder in early July. The 5-year-old Five Star Day mare has not raced over the main track at Churchill Downs, but she has compiled a career record of 9-5-2 in 21 races for trainer William Connelly. Jockey Robby Albarado will ride Sweet Cassiopeia, who will break from post five.
Others in the Open Mind include Lloyd Schwing Racing’s Ms Anna Destiny, a four-length winner in the West Virginia Secretary of State Stakes at Mountaineer Park last time out. The Brad Cox trainee, who was claimed for $32,000 in May, has won three of five races over the main track at Churchill Downs. Ms Anna Destiny will be ridden by Miguel Mena and will start from post four.
Completing the field is Al and Bill Ulweiling’s Second Street City, who enters the Open Mind off a 7 ½-length romp in the Hoist Her Flag Stakes at the Open Mind distance at Canterbury Park on Aug. 17. Another former claiming horse, Second Street City is trained by Gary Scherer and will be ridden from post two by Denny Velasquez.
Saturday’s race salutes 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.
The field for the Open Mind (with jockey, weight) from the rail out includes Vuitton (Santana, 120), Second Street City (Velazquez, 120), Devious Intent (Morales, 122), Ms Anna Destiny (Mena, 120), Sweet Cassiopeia (Albarado, 120) and Burban (Bridgmohan, 120).