Sunday, August 08, 2021

Wicked Halo’s sizzling performance in Sunday’s $200,000 Adirondack S. (G2) at Saratoga gave leading First-Crop sire Gun Runner his second graded winner of the weekend, coming a day after Pappacap’s win in the Best Pal S. (G2) at Del Mar.

The gray Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC homebred was ultra-impressive in the 6 1/2-furlong contest. She forged to the front in the first furlong and set lightning-quick fractions of :21.55 and :44.80. Up by a half-length coming into the stretch, Wicked Halo drew off at will to win by 3 1/2-lengths in 1:17.99 on a fast track.

“Ron [Winchell] giving us horses like this makes all the accolades possible,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “This filly, her mother [Just Wicked] won the Adirondack, and what a great sire Gun Runner is proving to be. To duplicate what her mother did is very special.’

Asmussen added that the filly is likely to skip the Spinaway (G1, Sept. 5), “I think we may give her a break. I got overly aggressive with the mother and being fortunate to have the family continuously, you need to learn from it.”

Wicked Halo has won two of her three starts and earned $144,650. She is the second foal out of Just Wicked, whose full sister My Miss Lilly won the Gazelle S. (G2).

Gun Runner leads the First-Crop sire list with $751,436 in progeny earnings and nine North American winners.