Got Stormy books Breeders’ Cup slot

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Trainer Mark Casse
Nov 5, 2016; Santa Anita, CA, USA; Horse owner John C. Oxley and trainer Mark E. Casse and jockey Julien Leparoux celebrate winning race eight during the 33rd Breeders Cup world championships at Santa Anita Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Casse hailed Got Stormy as an ‘amazing’ filly and set her sights on the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint following her weekend win at Kentucky Downs.

The Tyler Gaffalione-ridden Got Stormy came through with a strong late challenge to win the Grade 3 Ladies Turf Sprint on a wet track, getting the best of her rivals by a length-and-a-half at the winning line in the 6½-furlong event.

Got Stormy had surrendered her crown in last month’s Fourstardave at Saratoga when taking on the males and Saturday’s win was her first of 2020, having last tasted success in December’s Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar.

Reflecting on her Kentucky Downs win, Casse said she had answered the doubters.

“She’s amazing,” Casse said. “It was very gratifying to see her run the way she did. A lot of people had been counting her out. It’s just been the weather, it’s just been a crazy year. She doesn’t mind the soft turf — it just shortens her up, she can’t go as far. She showed that [on Saturday].”

The run was Got Stormy‘s sixth start of this calendar year. Her previous best effort was a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile, one of two occasions she made the frame prior to winning at Kentucky Downs.

She had twice finished fourth in Grade 3 company at Belmont Park earlier this summer prior to surrendering her crown in the Fourstardave behind Halladay.

She was in the money in all of her 2019 runs, eight of them, and was a finalist for the 2019 Female Turf Horse Eclipse award.

She was second-best in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last November and will have the World Championships on her mind again in a little over six weeks. Casse and owner Gary Barber are considering one more run before that, possibly at Keeneland, with a further drop in distance amongst her options having excelled back sprinting.

“We may run her one time in between, we’ll just see — possibly at Keeneland, just as a prep, [over] 5½-furlongs,” Casse said as he contemplated the build-up to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Owner Barber will be hoping to land successive renewals of that Grade 1 contest, with his Belvoir Bay having scored last year for trainer Peter Miller.

Also headed for Keeneland will be Imprimis, winner of the Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes on the same Kentucky Downs card. That was a ‘win and you’re in’ for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint and trainer Joe Orseno feels his charge has the perfect Keeneland prep.

“We’re going to get to our goal, that’s the Breeders’ Cup. He loves Keeneland. So we’re pretty excited,” the trainer confirmed.

“There were some quality horses in there. I mean, the Breeders’ Cup won’t be any tougher. We’re very happy where we have him right now.”

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