After breaking a touch slow in Friday’s $150,000 Franklin County Stakes (G3), odds-on favorite Got Stormy needed every inch of the 5 1/2 furlongs on offer to win the Keeneland turf feature for fillies and mares. And win she did, setting herself up nicely for a potential repeat performance in next month’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) over the same course and distance.
Biding her time near the back while a hot pace of :21.84 and :44.94 was set, Got Stormy was guided to the outside by jockey Tyler Gaffalione in the stretch and, with a powerful turn of foot, narrowly caught Into Mystic by a nose at the wire.
“When we had to go wide around the turn I was afraid we’d have to give away too much ground, but what an amazing kick,” said assistant trainer David Carroll.
Owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, Got Stormy paid $3.80 after completing the course in 1:02.33 on firm ground. Following Into Mystic past the wire were Jakarta, Change of Control, Winning Envelope, Surrender Now, Stillwater Cove, Ambassador Luna, Violent Times, and Chalon.
A world-class miler last season when taking the Fourstardave H. (G1) and Matriarch (G1), with close seconds in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and Woodbine Mile (G1), Got Stormy proved less effective in similar spots earlier this season. However, the 5-year-old daughter of Get Stormy has been rejuvenated since shortening up, beginning with a powerful victory last month in the 6 1/2-furlong Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint (G3).
“Whatever we throw at her, she keeps delivering,” Gaffalione said.
The $90,000 winner’s share for the Franklin County left Got Stormy just shy of $2 million in career earnings from a record of 25-10-5-3. Bred in Kentucky by Mt Joy Stables, Pope McLean, Marc McLean, and Pope McLean Jr., Got Stormy was reared by Super Phoebe, a Malabar Gold half-sister to Grade 2 winners Smooth Air and Overdriven.