Got Stormy has to run a big one at Fourstardave in Saratoga


SARATOGA SPRINGS – If Got Stormy wants to take a trip to San Diego in early November – and the weather is fabulous this time of year – she has to run big, really big, at Saratoga Racecourse on Saturday.

The 6-year-old mare, who has had a wonderful time in the town of Spa, must find another in the Grade I, $ 500,000 Fourstardave Handicap. If so, his Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse will give him the green light to compete in the always tough Breeders’ Cup Mile on the grass of Del Mar.

“The Fourstardave will tell us if we go to Del Mar,” Casse said outside his barn on the back stretch of Saratoga. “If she proves she can still race with the big guys, we’ll probably go to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup.”

The big word here is “if”.

Once upon a time, Casse would have no doubt that his chic daughter could run against anyone on the grass. Now in her fourth year of competition, she may have slowed down a bit. All athletes lose a step as they age. Casse is ready to see what Got Stormy can give him in the mile run on the indoor turf course.

“If you look at her form, this is normally the time of year when she improves,” said Casse.

Last August Got Stormy came to Saratoga for the Fourstardave and finished second behind Halladay with odds of 10-1. This followed a fourth place finish in Grade III poker at Belmont Park.

In two starts this year, Got Stormy has been at best blah. She finished fifth in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes on Kentucky Derby day. She followed with another fifth, in Grade I Jaipur at Belmont on the day of the Belmont Stakes.

Got Stormy had three jobs at Saratoga before the Fourstardave, the last being a four-yard move in 47.20 seconds on the Oklahoma turf last Sunday. Prior to that, she had run five stadiums in a 1: 00.55 ball on August 1.

Her regular rider, Tyler Gaffalione, was on board for ball work.

“His last works have been extremely good,” said Casse. “When Tyler came back he said, ‘She’s back! She’s back!’ When she comes back, when you ask her to go, she kind of snaps. He thought that in her last two runs, she didn’t have the snap.

Coming back to Saratoga, where she has two wins and a second in three career turf tries, may have also woken her up.

“It’s a big factor,” Casse said. “I think she likes the tightest corners here. When she’s good, when you hit the gas pedal, she takes off.”

In 2019, Got Stormy started writing her Saratoga tale when she won the unranked De La Rose against four-length fillies and mares. After this race, owner Gary Barber got on Casse’s ear and said it would be a great idea to pitch Got Stormy against the men of the Fourstardave. It was a gap of only seven days.

At first, Casse didn’t want to come back against the boys with such a short turnaround.

Gary said, ‘I’ll make a deal for you,’ Casse said. not.’ I remember it like it was yesterday. Martin (exercise runner) Rivera said, “I think we have to run. “

The rest is history. Got Stormy knocked down the boys in the Fourstardave, winning by 2 1/4 lengths at odds of 5-1. Among the horses she beat that day was Raging Bull, who was second. Got Stormy will face him again on Saturday.

Casse heads towards the Fourstardave with hope and a certain confidence. He knows what Got Stormy has done in the past. She has 11 wins in 28 turf trials. He said this mare is probably in the top 10 of his all-time favorites that he has coached. A victory on Saturday could put her in the top five.

“We are always trying to get her back to her best form,” said Casse. “I don’t know if we’re there yet.

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