Saturday's inaugural running of the $100,000-added Open Mind Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Churchill Downs will be the first try on the grass and in stakes company for M-2 Stable LLC's Prospective Saint.The daughter of Saint Ballado who would appear to have many options for trainer Patrick Byrne. Favored at 5-2 on the morning line, she carries a three-racing winning streak into the five-furlong Open Mind, including an impressive 2 1/4-length allowance victory at seven furlongs over a "muddy" track on Kentucky Derby Day.
Byrne is confident his filly will handle the switch to the grass in Saturday's Open Mind.
"Brian Peck worked her on the grass and worked her very easy, as he was instructed," said Byrne. "Brian said she really, really handled it well."
Prospective Saint was third as the beaten favorite in her debut at Churchill Downs on Nov. 9, then came back to score a front-running win on Nov. 30. She launched her 3-year-old campaign with an easy 4 1/4-length win in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Park. Her only other race this year was her Derby Day win.
"We've been patient with her," said Byrne. "She's a big, scopy filly -- she's close to 17 hands. I don't usually like to come back in just two weeks for a stake, but I thought her last race was very easy. I don't think (jockey) Mike Smith hit her at all in that last race and I just think it's a good spot to try her on the grass." Peck, who was in the saddle for Prospective Saint's win at Gulfstream Park, will be back in the irons for the Open Mind.
"He's a good rider -- a very underrated rider," said Byrne. "He rode her at Gulfstream and he knows she can come from off the pace, so he'll ride her with confidence."
Although she is running short on the turf in her stakes debut, he points to a pedigree -- she is out of A.P. Indy mare -- that says that she is capable of just about anything.
"My instinct is that she'll run long," he said. "I think she's just a good filly."
$100,000 Open Mind Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 5 furlongs on turf
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Dazzle Me (KY), Rene R. Douglas, 118, 3/1
2. Prospective Saint (KY), Brian Dale Peck, 118, 5/2
3. Victoire Bataille (KY), John McKee, 114, 10/1
4. Speedy Sonata (KY), Robby Albarado, 114, 7/2
5. Cold Front (KY), Willie Martinez, 114, 20/1
6. Avaricity (KY), Mark Guidry, 114, 20/1
7. Anna Em (OH), Larry Melancon, 114, 8/1
8. Thisgirldontlaugh (KY), Brice Blanc, 114, 20/1
9. She's a Rebel Too (MD), Justin Shepherd, 116, 15/1
10. Movant (KY), Calvin H. Borel, 118, 5/1