Pinot Grigio wins the Open Mind under Gabriel Saez

Pinot Grigio won her stakes debut Sunday in the Open Mind Handicap at Monmouth ParkPinot Grigio captured her stakes debut Sunday, the $60,000 Open Mind Handicap for New Jerseybred fillies and mares at Monmouth Park.

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The 5-year-old homebred is 2 for 2 at the meet for co-owner and trainer J. Willard Thompson.

She pulled a 14-1 upset on opening day in a first-level allowance.

The element of surprise was gone this time, as Pinot Grigio returned $7.40 for her fifth win in 26 starts.

The prerace focus was squarely on World Gone Wright, a 3-year-old making her New Jersey debut after victories at Tampa Bay Downs and Keeneland.

With an unbeaten record and the promise of high upside potential, World Gone Wright went off the even-money favorite.

That support looked solid when World Gone Wright fired out of the gate and easily opened a three-length lead.

Things got shaky when P J’s Superego ranged up to challenge. Those two were well clear of the pack around the turn, but the duel took a toll on both.

Pinot Grigio and jockey Gabriel Saez sat right behind the leaders, and they readily picked up the pieces in the lane, sailing home to a three-length victory.

“Around the three-eighths pole, she started gaining on the leaders,” said Saez who wore the colors of co-owner Lou Ottrando. “When she got to the outside in the stretch, she really started running. I was very impressed with her.”

P J’s Superego held on for second with World Gone Wright third.

The time was 1:11.29 for the six furlongs on a fast track.

Elba was fourth with Champagne Rain fifth. Morning Miracle, Thompson’s other filly in the race, was sixth, followed by Hotnslick and Eastern Blossom.

Racing resumes here June 6 with the first Friday card of the meet. Monmouth will now race a Friday through Sunday schedule until Labor Day.