Mark Casse is considering a drop in distance for Got Stormy on her next start despite a valiant defence of her Grade 1 Fourstardave crown over the weekend.
The return to Saratoga brought a seasonal-best from Got Stormy as she finished second to frontrunner Halladay in the valuable mile contest.
The one-mile turf contest was nearly perfect, though Casse was left to reflect on the early morning storm that hit the area as a possible negative. The trainer felt that may have put just enough moisture in the ground to be a factor.
“I was proud of her. I was a little worried when the storm happened, though you’d think with her name she’d like that,” quipped Casse. “She’s back to her triple Beyers (speed figures), which is good.
“I think the turf was fast yesterday but still not 100 per-cent hard. I think a lot of it [the good effort] has to do with being at Saratoga. She trains well up there.”
Winning the Fourstardave in 2019, Got Stormy had clocked a 109 Beyer rating, completing the course in 1m32secs.
In a superb campaign, she also won the Grade 1 Matriarch at Del Mar and posted runner-up finishes in the Woodbine Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
A 101-Beyer rating back at Saratoga represented her best effort in five starts in 2020 so far but it wasn’t enough to peg back Halladay in the home stretch.
The Breeders’ Cup Meeting at Keeneland in November remains firmly in his plans but Casse is also tempted to drop Got Stormy in distance, as he has long held the notion that she could excel at 6½-furlongs.
Going over that trip at Kentucky Downs would, in Casse’s estimation, put just enough emphasis on her extra stamina.
“We’re flirting with the idea of running her at Kentucky Downs going six and a half against fillies,” said Casse.
“We’ve thought all along she could get a mile if the turf is perfect, but I’ve always thought she’s a better seven-eighths type of horse and at Kentucky Downs six-and-a-half is like running seven-eighths.”
The Breeders’ Cup Mile looks at this point to be more of a long shot. Casse has worries about the state of the ground come November at the Lexington track and he feels softer going under her feet would almost certainly be the undoing of Got Stormy.
“I don’t know that she can go a mile at Keeneland,” said Casse. “Normally, in the fall, the ground is a little soft there.”