Friday, March 31, 2023

When Wicked Halo cross the finish line first in the $250,000 Matron S. on March 31 at Oaklawn Park, she became the seventh millionaire for Gun Runner, who currently leads the 2023 Third-Crop sire list with 13 stakes horses and more than $4.2 million in progeny earnings.

Away from the races since the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), Wicked Halo set off a scorching pace of :21.15 for the opening quarter-mile. Around the turn, Wicked Halo went four wide around the pacesetters, while Matareya skimmed the rail and took the lead coming into the stretch.

Wicked Halo ultimately got the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to run and edged clear to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:09.31 on a sloppy racetrack.

” (This was) a talented group of mares and the exciting part is for her to come back running that fast,” winning trainer Steve Asmussen said. “She finished off the year in spectacular fashion. I think she had four stakes wins and then was third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. She got a little break off that. For her to come back and beat a filly the quality of Matareya in such a competitive fashion is very exciting.”

Wicked Halo, a Winchell Thoroughbreds LLL homebred, now has six stakes victories, including a trio of Grade 2 wins, and has earned $1,032,700 from a mark of 7-0-4 in 12 starts. Just as  Wicked Halo did, her dam Just Wicked won the Adirondack S. (G2).