Afternoon rain turned the course soft, but even that couldn’t stop 19-10 favorite Got Stormy from asserting in Saturday’s $498,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint (G3). Trainer Mark Casse’s inspiration to send the miler sprinting helped her end a five-race losing skid in decisive fashion.
“I’ve always said she’d handle soft going – it just limits how far she can run,” Casse told Kentucky Downs publicity. “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.”
Got Stormy’s class advantage as a multiple Grade 1 heroine, and 2019 Eclipse Award finalist, also told in this spot. That was all the more so following the scratch of Kimari, who’s cross-entered to the Music City Stakes (now postponed with the rest of Sunday’s card to Tuesday) and Wednesday’s Franklin-Simpson Stakes (G3).
With regular rider Tyler Gaffalione, the Gary Barber colorbearer drafted just behind the leaders. Surrender Now carved out splits of :22.54 and :46.27, but appeared on the verge of surrendering when Into Mystic ranged up in the stretch.
By that point, Got Stormy had angled out into the clear, and she careered away by 3 1/4 lengths. Winning Envelope charged from last to grab second, a half-length up on Into Mystic. Lady Lawyer got up for fourth, followed by Surrender Now, Quebec, Change of Control, Dixieincandyland, Mentality, Bohemian Bourbon, Cariba, and I’llhandalthecash. Aside from Kimari, Intuicao and Jakarta were scratched.
Got Stormy, who completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.41, has now bankrolled $1,901,378 from her 24-9-5-3 line. The chestnut won three stakes during her sophomore campaign in 2018 – the Ontario Colleen (G3), Wild Applause, and Penn Oaks – and reached a higher level in 2019. A course record-setting winner over males in last summer’s Fourstardave H. (G1) on a quick turnaround from her De La Rose romp, Got Stormy was runner-up in both the Woodbine Mile (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Concluding the year with another coup in the Dec. 1 Matriarch (G1), she had gone winless this term as a 5-year-old. Her best results so far in 2020 were a pair of seconds versus males, just missing to River Boyne in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) and most recently dethroned by Halladay in the Fourstardave.
Casse is now looking toward the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) rather than trying the Mile again:
“I’ll talk to Gary (owner Barber) but we’ll probably come back and run her 5 1/2 (furlongs) in the Breeders’ Cup. I think she’ll like that 5 1/2. He (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.”
The daughter of Get Stormy was bred in Kentucky by Mt. Joy Stables, Pope McLean, Marc McLean, and Pope McLean Jr. She sold for $23,000 as a Keeneland September yearling and $45,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-year-old.
Got Stormy’s dam, the Malabar Gold mare Super Phoebe, is a half-sister to Grade 2-winning sires Smooth Air and Overdriven. This is the further family of multiple Grade 2 victress Justwhistledixie, dam of New Year’s Day, Mohaymen, Kingly, and Enforceable who finished seventh in last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1).
The preceding $500,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3) likewise witnessed a favorite returning to winning form in Paul Pompa’s homebred Regal Glory.
The 7-5 choice after twice unsuccessfully chasing stablemate Newspaperofrecord around Belmont Park, the Chad Brown trainee stalked Mitchell Road through fractions of :23.42 and :47.19. Regal Glory upped the ante at the 6-furlong mark in 1:11.26, but Mitchell Road was a stubborn foe. Finally Regal Glory headed the longtime leader, and Mitchell Road had to accept second place here for the second straight year. Crossing the wire a neck on top for Jose Ortiz, Regal Glory negotiated the mile in 1:34.34, on a course rated yielding at that time.
Brown’s other runner, Tapit Today, rallied for third. Lady Apple regained fourth after Secret Message’s bid flattened out, and Frond and Princess Causeway rounded out the order of finish. English Affair was scratched.
Regal Glory’s scorecard stands at 11-6-3-0, $773,884, reflecting victories in the 2019 Lake Placid (G2), Lake George (G3), and Penn Oaks as well as the 2018 Stewart Manor. The chestnut has placed in a trio of graded stakes, including her comeback in the June 6 Intercontinental (G3), prior to a fourth in the Just a Game (G1).
Kentucky-bred Regal Glory is an Animal Kingdom half-sister to Japan’s onetime Kentucky Derby hope Cafe Pharoah. Their dam, Grade 2 vixen Mary’s Follies by More Than Ready, has also produced multiple Grade 3 scorer Night Prowler.