Despite inclement weather in the Hot Springs area on Friday afternoon, Wicked Halo (Gun Runner–Just Wicked, by Tapit) returned to action off the break and won the inaugural running of the Matron S. over a wet track at Oaklawn Park with Tyler Gaffalione in-town to ride for the weekend. The 4-year-old filly was making her first start of the year for trainer Steve Asmussen after she ran third in the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 5.
After a trio of scratches, from the break the 1-1 priced gray was content to settle in third, as Pretty Birdie (Bird Song) and I’m the Boss of Me (Midshipman) tore through the early fractions at :21.15 for the first quarter mile. Around the far turn as rival on the tote Matareya (Pioneerof the Nile) hugged the fence, Wicked Halo took the overland route and down the lane challenged the 3-2 shot to her outside. With a powerful late kick, she passed the Brad Cox trainee to win by over a length with a final running time of 1:09.31.
O/B-Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC (Ky); T-Steve Asmussen.
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