Updated on 09/17/2011 11:38AM

Uphill Skier wins Open Mind

Uphill Skier and Joe Bravo romp to victory in the Open Mind Handicap at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Uphill Skier splashed through the slop to win the $50,000 Open Mind Handicap by 6 3-4 widening lengths Sunday afternoon at Monmouth Park.

The lone 3-year-old in the field of New Jersey-bred fillies and mares battled Whoops Ah Daisy, Fashion Idol and Primary Colors for the early lead through a brisk opening quarter in :21.98. One by one, those rivals conceded as Uphill Skier kept motoring along with Joe Bravo in the irons. She led by three lengths at the quarter pole and continued to increase her advantage under a hand ride.

Trainer Ben Perkins, Jr. watched from the grandstand and knew the outcome was never in doubt.

"She has real big ears," Perkins said. "I saw those ears come up going down the backside. We knew the rest of them were in trouble."

Proud and Free rallied to get second over Cigno d'Oro. Uphill Skier paid $3.40 to win as she ran the six furlongs in 1:11.09.

Perkins was mildly concerned about running the filly against older rivals.

"It was a 3-year-old facing older horses but she actually had a little more seasoning," Perkins said. "Almost every one in the race was coming off a long layoff."

Uphill Skier had run four times this year with her most recent effort a well-beaten fourth in the Grade 2 Nassau County Breeders' Cup Stakes at Belmont Park on May 10.

Fans shivered through another cold and rainy afternoon. Monmouth has yet to run a turf race this meet as both grass contests slated for Sunday were shifted to the main track