Open Mind ($300.000 Purse)
CD- For Fillies and Mares Three Years Old and Upward
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
September 16, 2023
The Open Mind is an ungraded sprint for fillies and mares which was first on the calendar in 2004. The race looked very different then, as it was a five-furlong race on the turf that was restricted to three-year-old fillies. After running like that for three races, the stake disappeared from our schedule for several years. When it resurfaced, it looked a lot different, as it was moved to the main track and would be for older horses. It’s pretty similar to how it is now, except for the fact that the purse was much smaller ($100.000). In 2021, it would get its increase to the present $300.000 level. Last year, Terra Command picked up the victory, doing so for Threshold, and the six-year-old is still active and running at the graded level. We’ll have six heading to the starting gate this year. Let’s take a look at them!
#1- Starship Twister (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by T Gaffalione)- A veteran of 42 career races, and most of them have been at the graded level. Most of that has been running long, but she is not a stranger to sprinting, and the trainer has leaned towards giving her more races of a shorter distance in 2023. She’s only one once this year, which was a wire-to-wire victory in the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap at AQU. For as good as that was, she has been unable to maintain that form, and looking at her last three races, they are not pretty. Very capable of rediscovering that, but when they’ve raced this much, you always have to wonder how much they have left.
#2- Lannys All In (Mo Mentum Farm, ridden by M E Smith)- This one has also raced alot, and will be making her 38th career start here in the Open Mind. Her biggest wins came in 2021, but since October, she has not finished outside of the top four in any of her races. Unlike Starship Twister, those aren’t graded races or high-priced ungraded ones like this one and it’s been a while since she has had a test like this. Mo Mentum Farm has changed some things up since acquiring with her, and is hopes for his five-year-old mare to show her 2021 side.
#3- Her World (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by S Elliott)- A winner of four out of her sixteen races, but none of them are in any of the stakes that she has tried. Opened up 2023 with an impressive five length victory at TAM in an optional claimer, then hit the board in a pair of ungraded stakes. It seemed like she might be on the verge of finally scoring that stake win, but she has just come up a little short. Again, last month, she was second best in the Sweet Briar Too up north at WO. Only her best will see her get that stake win here.
#4- Esprezzo (Gdp Inc., ridden by L J Luzzi)- We saw this one run against Starship Twister back in April at the Distaff Handicap. While that one was winning, Esprezzo ended up third, but was beaten by less than a length, so nothing with that can’t change here. Since then, she’s one out of three, with a good looking N1X allowance win at SAR last month. Perhaps you would like to see a better SRF out of that race, but nonetheless, this is the type of company she deserves to be running against. Also looking for her first stake win.
#5- Flysohigh (Asgar, ridden by A Beschizza)- When in the same race as Starship Twister and Lannys All In, Flysohigh’s fsix career starts certainly makes her seem like a baby. Although she has not raced much, she’s been good when she was, scoring three wins over those six starts, highlighted by the $175.000 Roxelana right here in April, where Her World was one of the horses that she defeated. That victory sent her into the graded ranks, and in her last start, she ran a strong second to Silver Jazzmin in the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes. Poised to be one of the top contenders here.
#6- Curlina (Arindel, ridden by F T Alvarado)- One of those horses that I feel like I have written up so many times, yet they never do anything in those races. However, this is the Open Mind, so I will indeed look to have an open mind about her chances. At times, she puts forth a monster effort, such around this time last year when she won the Grade 3 RP Oaks. She got into the BC Distaff, so she must be doing something right. Her last two races have been struggles, but she has had nearly three months off. Maybe that rest will be very beneficial.