Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stable's Got Stormy became the first filly to win the G1 Fourstardave on Saturday, crushing her male rivals by 2 1/2 lengths and lowering the course record by more than a second in the process. The 4-year-old daughter of Get Stormy, trained by Mark Casse and returning off just one week's rest, completed a mile over Saratoga's firm turf in 1:32.00. Sent to post at odds of 5-1, Got Stormy gave jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. his third winner on the card.
The victory earns Got Stormy an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Mile.
“We came back and ran her a week later [after winning the De La Rose on August 3], which doesn't happen very often, but she's turned into a super filly,” said Casse. “I was fortunate to train another filly years ago in Tepin, who won the Breeders' Cup [Mile] and then was second. I told Gary [Barber] early in the year that she was our next Tepin. It's nice sometimes when you're right. She's amazing.
“It's all about Gary Barber. I told him why we shouldn't run her. He said, 'That's good, but are you happy with how she is training?' I said 'Honestly, I've never seen her train so good' and he said 'We're running.' I wish I could say I was the smart one, but it was Gary Barber. He's not afraid to step out of the box.”
Gidu was in the mood for a game of “catch me if you can” when breaking from the far outside post in the Fourstardave, and kicked away to lead by about eight lengths through the clubhouse turn. He set fractions of :22.65 and :44.61 all alone on the front end, with Got Stormy tracking him from fifth position down the backstretch.
Rounding the far turn, Made You Look was the first to catch the runaway leader Gidu, but Got Stormy was closing fast on the outside and overwhelmed him nearing the eighth pole. Raging Bull, Uni, and March to the Arch were all making up ground late as well, but Got Stormy pulled away to win by 2 1/2 lengths on the wire. Raging Bull won the photo for second, nosing out his stablemate Uni (9-5 favorite) and March to the Arch.
“She's a nice filly,” Santana said. “Mr. Casse told me that he had a really good shot for me this weekend and he believed in this filly and she ran such a big race. She's a monster. I had plenty of horse at the sixteenth pole I wanted to make sure she opened up so when I passed first I made sure she was on her game. She really ran a big race.”
Bred in Kentucky by Mt. Joy Stables, Pope McLean, Marc McLean and Pope McLean Jr., Got Stormy was a $23,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. She was pinhooked through the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile sale, where she brought a final bid of $45,000. She earned her first stakes win in last summer's listed Penn Oaks, and ran third earlier this year in the G1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. Overall, Got Stormy has won seven of her 15 starts for earnings over three-quarters of a million dollars.
“One of the things I looked at was the weight,” owner Gary Barber said. “I knew the weight would help and Gidu opened up and it set it up. It was great. I told Mark I always wanted to run back in a week, and he said, 'No, let's take it easy and we'll have the Woodbine Mile in five weeks.' When she won so easy, I said we had to try this. She loves the course and she just turned in a dynamite performance. The only concern I had was that Tyler was gone, but with Ricardo, it was perfection.”
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