09/17/2016 7:15PM

Fioretti regains good form in Open Mind

Coady Photography
Fioretti, with Sophie Doyle aboard, connects at 14-1 in the Open Mind Stakes.

LOUISVILLE, KY. – Fioretti, winless in six starts since winning the Thoroughbred Club of America last October at Keeneland, rebounded Saturday to win the $100,000 Open Mind at Churchill Downs.

Under regular rider Sophie Doyle, Fioretti stalked the pace and surged to the lead in the lane, edging Ramona’s Wildcat by a half-length, with Mayla finishing third and I’m a Looker fourth.

A 6-year-old daughter of Bernardini, Fioretti completed six furlongs on a muddy track in 1:10.67. She paid $30.80.

“It was brilliant to be reunited with her again,” said Doyle, who had not been aboard her since the spring. “She loves it here, and I do too. “

The winner, trained by Tony Hamilton for Two Hearts Farm and Don James, scored her first victory of the year, and left her connections encouraged for what lies ahead. Hamilton said she was likely to defend her title in the Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland next month.

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Hamilton wasn’t bothered to see a wet track on Saturday. “She loves this track and if you look back at her past performances, a lot a lot of those big races had a little bit of moisture in the racetrack,” he said.

Ramona’s Wildcat, at 23-1, ran well to be second as the second-highest price on the board, but was always second-best to the winner in the stretch. She trailed Fioretti by a half-length in midstretch and at the wire.

Spelling Again, the 6-5 favorite, never threatened in running fifth.