Got Stormy weathers sprinting just fine

Alicia

(Photo: Got Stormy weathered the rain and off turf to win the first time she ever raced shorter than 7 1/2 furlongs in the $500,000, Grade 3 Real Solution Ladies Sprint. Coady Photography)

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020) -- One thing trainer Mark Casse has had on wish list for his charge Got Stormy in 2020 was for the 5-year-old mare to finally get the foot-rattling ground she has done her best running over. So when rain began soaking the Franklin, Ky track over the course of Saturday afternoon, turning its course conditions to soft in the process, one could forgive the Hall of Fame conditioner if he started to get a twist of dread in his stomach heading into the Grade 3 Real Solution Ladies Sprint Stakes.

Class can overcome a lot of would-be setbacks and for Got Stormy, her superiority would not be dulled this day even if the ground beneath her was. The multiple Grade 1-winning daughter of Get Stormy exploded down the lane to take the $500,000 Ladies Sprint Stakes by 3 ¼ lengths, ending a five-race losing skid and earning her first victory of 2020.

Prior to the 6 ½ furlong Ladies Sprint, the only time Got Stormy had raced at shorter than a mile was her debut as 2-year-old in a 7 1/2-furlong race, which at Gulfstream Park is staged around two turns. Since capturing the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes last December to close out a 2019 campaign that also saw her best males in the Grade 1 Fourstardave Handicap, the chestnut mare hadn’t been able to find the form that made her an Eclipse Award finalist for champion turf female last season.

“For her to get a mile, she needs it extremely, extremely hard. And she hasn’t gotten that once this year,” Casse said. “We always felt that way (that she’d sprint) but there’s never been an opportunity. For $500,000, we figured this would be a good time to do it. I’ve always said she’d handle soft going; it just limits how far she can run.

“The bit of the give in the ground (today) was a little worrisome, but it kind of played to her favor.”

With her regular pilot Tyler Gaffalione in the irons on Saturday, Got Stormy indeed looked at home as the 9-5 favorite rated between horses in fourth through the opening quarter mile in :22.54 in the Ladies Sprint. After pacesetter Surrender Now took the field 12-horse field through a half mile in :46.27 and into the stretch, Got Stormy was angled to the outside around rivals by Gaffalione, striking the front near the eighth pole and continuing to draw clear en route to covering the distance in 1:15.41.

“The filly broke great today. We were worried about the soft ground, but she handled it beautifully,” Gaffalione said. “She felt like a winner every step and when I got her out she finished the job. She’s got so much class and is a tremendous filly. Great job by Mark and his team having her ready.”

“She’s hard not to love,” Casse added. “I’ve felt bad for her this year because she’s gotten some bad ‘rap,’ that she isn’t what she was. And it’s not true. Like when she won the Fourstardave last year the track was so hard and so fast. And she just hasn’t gotten that. That’s what she likes. The softer it is, the shorter she needs to run.”

Winning Envelope ran on from well back to get second in the Ladies Sprint with Into Mystic third.

Owned by Gary Barber, Got Stormy improves her record to nine wins from 24 starts with $1,901,378 in earnings.

“I’ll talk to Gary (owner Gary Barber) but we’ll probably come back and run her 5 1/2 (furlongs) in the Breeders’ Cup” (Turf Sprint at Keeneland),” Casse said “I think she’ll like that 5 1/2. (Gaffalione) said he could have been on the lead, no problem. I know she cannot go a mile at Keeneland in the fall. We know that.”

Quotes
Trainer Mark Casse, Got Stormy: “We always felt that way (that she’d sprint) but there’s never been an opportunity. For $500,000, we figured this would be a good time to do it. I’ve always said she’d handle soft going; it just limits how far she can run. So for her to get a mile, she needs it extremely, extremely hard. And she hasn’t gotten that once this year.
“So the bit of the give in the ground was a little worrisome, but it kind of played to her favor. I’ll talk to Gary (owner Gary Barber) but we’ll probably come back and run her 5 1/2 (furlongs) in the Breeders’ Cup” (Turf Sprint at Keeneland). I think she’ll like that 5 1/2. He (Tyler Gaffalione) said he could have been on the lead, no problem.”
(So now that you know she’ll go short, you’re going to see if she’ll go shorter …) “Well, I know she cannot go a mile at Keeneland in the fall. We know that.”

“She’s hard not to love. I’ve felt bad for her this year because she’s gotten some bad ‘rap,’ that she isn’t what she was. And it’s not true. Like when she won the Fourstardave last year the track was so hard and so fast. And she just hasn’t gotten that. That’s what she likes. The softer it is, the shorter she needs to run.”

Tyler Gaffalione, jockey for Got Stormy: “The filly broke great today. We were worried about the soft ground, but she handled it beautifully. She felt like a winner every step and when I got her out she finished the job. She’s got so much class and is a tremendous filly. Great job by Mark and his team having her ready.”