No Catching Anna Em in Open Mind Stakes

(from Churchill Downs report)
Anna Em, ridden by Larry Melancon, jumped out to a quick lead and drew off for an impressive 6 1/2-length victory over stablemate Movant in the first running of the $112,300 Open Mind for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs.

The Tom Amoss-trained daughter of Our Emblem, who also sired 2002 Kentucky Derby winer War Emblem, won for the second straight time and covered the five furlongs on "yielding" turf in :57.22 and paid $15.00, $8.60 and $5.80.

Movant, also trained by Amoss with Calvin Borel aboard, closed late to take the place spot and paid $9.60 and $6.80.

Victoire Bataille, with John McKee aboard, finished three-quarters of a length back in third and paid $4.80.

Speedy Sonata, the 5-2 post-time favorite, never fired and ran seventh in the nine-horse field.

Owned by the G W M Farms, Anna Em banked $69,626 to more than double her career earnings to $115,206. The victory was her third in nine lifetime starts and first in two attempts on the grass.

Anna Em sprung from the gate and immediately opened up a two-length lead while rattling off a quarter-mile in :22.02. Anna Em extended the lead to four lengths when turning for home as Movant began to close on the outside to take second.

"I'm really pleased with both their performances today," said Amoss. "In regards to Anna Em this is really a filly that has had some behavioral problems in the paddock before races. We've really worked on it and worked on it, and it's kind of like one of those things where it finally hits."

The victory allowed veteran Melancon to break a tie with Hall of Fame jockey Don Brumfield and move into second place in all-time stakes victories by a jockey at Churchill Downs. Melancon, 48, now has 47 stakes victories. Pat Day is the all-time leader with 151 stakes wins.

(Chart, Equibase)