Wicked Halo takes inaugural Twin Bridges

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

Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.