Plucky mare Got Stormy takes on the boys in a Grade 1 race headlining Saratoga’s Saturday card and, yes, this scenario sounds more than a bit familiar.
Just change the principals, the surface, and the starring distaff runner, but yes, next verse, similar to the first.
Last week, we saw this scenario play out with Swiss Skydiver coming off the bench and finishing fourth in the Whitney on Saratoga’s main dirt track. Now, we’ll see Got Stormy make her statement in Saturday’s Fourstardave, which sends its contestants a mile on the Spa’s inner turf course.
And we’ll see if Got Stormy can win her second Fourstardave race in three years. The 6-year-old set the course record in the 2019 edition (1:32.00) at 5/1, winning by 2 ½ lengths. That produced a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure.
Like father, like daughter
It also brought daughter even with Dad. Got Stormy’s sire, Get Stormy, won the 2010 Fourstardave and finished third to Hall of Famer Wise Dan in 2012. That gelding, the two-time Horse of the Year, repeated in 2013, becoming one of only two dual winners of the event.
The first? Fourstardave, who won the race eventually named after him in 1990 and 1991. The horse nicknamed “The Sultan of Saratoga” won at least one race at the Spa every year from 1987 to 1994.
It won’t be easy. Got Stormy is 10/1 to join those two, with Raging Bull the 9/5 morning-line favorite and Set Piece the 5/2 second choice. The 6-year-old Mark Casse charge finished second to Halladay by 1 ¼ lengths in last year’s Fourstardave. Got Stormy merely used that as a springboard to two stakes wins: the Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Lady Spirit and the Grade 3 Franklin County at Keeneland. She finished fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, albeit with a healthy 113 Equibase Speed Figure.
Got Stormy is in familiar form, territory
“I think she’s training well and similar to when she ran a big race last year,” Casse told the New York Racing Association. “I was just going over the similarities from one year to the other. She kind of struggled early on and then came here and ran a big race in the Fourstardave. She’s happy and she’s ready. We just have the same concern we always do about the weather.”
Last year, Got Stormy came into the Foursquaredave off a pair of fourths in Belmont Park Grade 3s, the Beaugay and the Poker Stakes. Perhaps Casse, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this week, should emulate his 2019 Fourstardave preparation.
Two years ago, Got Stormy came into the Foursquaredave a week after winning the Listed De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga. That came three months after she finished second in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Mile Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard.
Stormy weather for Got Stormy this year
This year, Got Stormy comes in struggling again. She enters the Saratoga starting gate off a pair of fifths in the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard and in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Mile Stakes. She did open her 6-year-old campaign winning February’s Grade 3 Honey Fox at Gulfstream Park.
The Honey Fox was a mile on the turf. Casse said that is Got Stormy’s preferred distance. The Jaipur was six furlongs and Casse wants to stretch her out on a course she loves. Got Stormy is 2-1-0 at the Spa and Casse said she responds well to the tighter turns there.
Not that the mare is picky where she runs. Got Stormy has won races at nine different tracks. That Honey Fox was her 11th career victory in 29 starts. Her 11-5-3 career mark earned more than $2.1 million.