took advantage of an early speed duel and rallied from last to
run down Sweet Cassiopeia by one length to win Saturday's fifth running
of the $108,100 Open Mind at Churchill Downs.
owned by Gillian Campbell, Ralph and Shelly Stayer and Andrew Pajak, ran
six furlongs over a fast main track in 1:10.07 to collect her second
stakes triumph. In April, the 4-year-old daughter of Smart Strike
defeated graded stakes-winning mare Beat the Blues by a nose in the
$100,000 Carousel at Oaklawn Park.
Ridden by Ricardo
Santana Jr. and trained by Steve Asmussen, Vuitton was last of six
fillies and mares in the early stages of the sprint as 4-5 favorite
Burban and 5-1 third betting choice Ms Anna Destiny battled for the
early lead through fractions of :21.78 and :45.09.
three-eighths of a mile to run, Bridgmohan dropped his hands and asked
Vuitton for her closing kick. Sweet Cassiopeia put away the fading
leaders and grabbed the lead at the head of the stretch, but could not
hold off the fast-closing Vuitton, who rallied wide in the clear and
took command inside the final sixteenth of a mile.
sent to post at odds of 7-1, returned $17.60, $7.80 and $5.40. Sweet
Cassiopeia, ridden by Robby Albarado, paid $7.40 and $4.80. Ms Anna
Destiny was another 1 ½ lengths back in third under Miguel Mena and
Burban, Second Street City and Devious Intent completed the order of finish.
Vuitton, bred in Kentucky by Satish Sanan's Padua Stables, earned
$66,352 for the win. It was her first race in 110 days. Previously, she
was third behind Beat the Blues and Judy the Beauty in the $108,000
Winning Colors (Grade III) on Memorial Day at Churchill Downs.
Overall, Vuitton has won six of her 15 starts with six seconds and a
pair of thirds. Her career earnings now stand at $218,760.
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.OPEN MIND QUOTES
SANTANA JR., rider of VUITTON (winner): "I had ridden her three times
and she had won all of them, and I want to thank my trainer (Steve
Asmussen) for giving me a chance to ride her another time. I know the
filly and she gives her best all the time. I take her back and she runs
when we get out. She loved the track. She ran great."
what point did you think you had it? "I thought I had them in the
stretch, because I know this filly closes really nice. I saw the horse
in the front (Sweet Cassiopeia) stopping a little, I felt like I had
SCOTT BLASI, assistant trainer of VUITTON (winner): "When I
saw them run that first quarter (in :21.78) I thought we had a good
shot. There was plenty of pace up front and she likes being on the
outside. Ricardo (Santana Jr.) has had a lot of success on her and was
smart enough to get her on the outside. She did the rest after that.
KENNEALLY, trainer of Burban (fourth as the 4-5 favorite): "It looked
like things were going pretty good, but when he (Shaun Bridgmohan)
pushed the button I don't think there was anything there."
BRIDGMOHAN , rider of Burban (fourth as the 4-5 favorite): "I thought I
was sitting in a great spot, but she just didn't give it to me. She's a
much better filly than this."