Got Stormy wins Fourstardave at Saratoga


SARATOGA SPRINGS – In May and then again in June, a 6 year old mare named Got Stormy ran her best in races at Churchill Downs and then Belmont Park. The once super chic thoroughbred didn’t make a dent in the Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile or the Grade I Jaipur, respectively.

Maybe it was about time. As they age, athletes slow down. Got Stormy, winner of 11 of her 28 career starts with a bankroll of over $ 2 million in earnings, appeared to be done. The race people have said so. There were certainly murmurs on the backstretchs around the country. The plug had to be removed.

Not so fast, said Mark Casse, one of the most upbeat and positive coaches in the game. The Hall of Famer weren’t ready to give up on a horse that had been so good to them. And besides, Saratoga was coming.

“She loves Saratoga,” Casse said early Saturday night.

Got Stormy does of course. Those two boring spring races were a thing of the past on the fifth Saturday of the Saratoga meet. The Grade I, $ 500,000 Fourstardave, which included five foals and three mares, featured the return of Got Stormy. She ran like she was immersed in magical waters as she and jockey Tyler Gaffalione sprinted home to claim a 1 1/2 victory in the indoor turf mile race.

Got Stormy is the first horse to win this race twice since Wise Dan did it in 2012-13. The race is named after Fourstardave, the New York-bred gelding who won at least one race for eight consecutive years (1987-94) at Saratoga.

In the days leading up to the Fourstardave, Casse tried to convince anyone who stopped by her barn on the back stretch of Saratoga that Got Stormy was a different animal now that she was back here. He made a good copy during the week. A cute story for sure, but did anyone really believe it could happen?

Another Saratoga banner, this one 36,307, did not trust him. Got Stormy was sent off at 12-1 odds. Only three other horses in the pack of eight were higher.

Got Stormy had won the Fourstardave two years ago – setting an indoor turf course record for the mile at 1:32 – and was second in that race last year at odds of 10-1.

She showed Casse a bit of a zip in his workout. The legs were strong, the eyes shining.

Ahead of Saturday’s race, Casse told Ned Toffey, managing director of Spendthrift Farm, which is part of the owner group with MyRacehorse Stable, that he had felt something.

“I said ‘She’s got her game face,’” said Casse. “She’s ready … and she loves this place. It was such a powerful performance and it feels good when everyone says she’s done and she’s coming back.”

Got Stormy and Gaffalione saved some ground by settling in third behind favorite Blowout, another mare, and Whisper Not, who pressed her. The race was won when the peloton headed for the stretch.

Gaffalione moved her partner to the outside and she mowed down the leaders and won by walking away.

“When I put her on the outside she started a big run and it all ended from there,” said Gaffalione.

The Set Piece coached by Brad Cox, the second pick at 4-1, finished last to finish second.

“She’s good,” Cox said of Got Stormy. “She’s been in the Grade I (three) winner’s circle a number of times; she’s won this race before. It’s no surprise she won this. I’m surprised she paid $ 27. “

Raging Bull, the tied favorite, was sixth.

Got Stormy paid $ 27, $ 8.90 and $ 5.70 and completed the mile in 1: 33.09 on a company-labeled course.

With the win, Got Stormy earned automatic entry into the Grade I, $ 2 million Breeders ‘Cup Mile on November 6 at Del Mar. The Fourstardave was part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” program. Got Stormy competed in this Breeders’ Cup race in 2019 and finished second. Last year she competed in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and finished fifth.

“There were bumps along the way,” Casse said. “I’m just really proud of her.”

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