Ellis Park stakes recaps by Kevin Kerstein (Coady photo above of Wicked Halo winning the Twin Bridges)
HENDERSON, Ky. (Sunday, July 23, 2023) – Winchell Thoroughbreds’ classy mare Wicked Halo pressed by Non Violence inside the 1/16th pole to win Sunday’s inaugural running of the $125,000 Twin Bridges Stakes at Ellis Park Racing and Gaming.
Cristian Torres rode Wicked Halo for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. The duo completed six furlongs in 1:10.36.
The compact field of five fillies and mares broke well but it was Dealing Justice who was hustled hard for the early lead under Martin Garcia. She was pressed to her outside by Non Violence and jockey Rey Gutierrez while heavily favored Wicked Halo sat just off the front-running duo through an opening quarter mile in :22.99. Around the turn, Non Violence passed the tiring Dealing Justice while Wicked Halo continued her wide journey with closer Last Leafimproving her early position at the rail. In the stretch, Wicked Halo was asked for her best run by Torres while Non Violence and Gutierrez continued to fight hard to her inside. Just inside the 1/16th pole, Wicked Halo dug down deep to get by Non Violence and score a 1 ¼-length victory.
Wicked Halo banked $76,500 for her victory in the Twin Bridges. The daughter of Gun Runner now sports an impressive record of 15-8-2-4 with purse
earnings of $1,297,700.
Here is the complete order of finish of the Twin Bridges Stakes (with $2 mutel payouts):
1. Wicked Halo ($2.42, $2.10, $2.10)
2. Non Violence (X, $3.26, $2.12)
3. Last Leaf (X, X, $2.12)
4. Dealing Justice
5. Tap Dance Fever