Bay Storm Seeks Elusive Graded Triumph in G3 Intercontinental

June 9, 2023

Bay Storm wins the Incredible Revenge Aug. 7, 2022, at Monmouth Park (Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Stakes-Winning Empress Tigress Retired, in Foal to Charlatan

NYRA Press Office

ELMONT, N.Y.— Bridlewood Farm’s Bay Storm has twice been defeated by slim margins in graded events for trainer Jonathan Thomas but will have a strong chance to avenge those defeats in Friday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Intercontinental, a six-furlong inner turf sprint for older fillies and mares, at Belmont Park. 

The 5-year-old daughter of Kantharos brings a perfect in-the-money record over the Belmont green, including a stakes conquest in the 2021 Christiecat. Bay Storm also boasts a near-perfect lifetime record, finishing on-the-board in all but one of her 14 career outings. 

“The mare has done well, and she seems to do pretty well at Belmont,” said Thomas. “This is a little bit of a tougher affair than she’s had there, but she certainly seems like she fits. We’re hopeful.” 

Bay Storm enters from a hard trying second in the Unbridled Sidney on May 5 at Churchill Downs where she was defeated 1 1/2 lengths by last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Caravel and preserved place honors by a head over Sarah Harper. She has held her own against some of the best in her division over the past year, finishing second by a nose to dual Group 1-winner Campanelle in the Grade 3 Mint Ladies Sprint in September at Kentucky Downs. 

“We weren’t giving Caravel any threat in the Unbridled Sidney, but it was heart-wrenching to get beat by Campanelle, especially when one step after the wire she was right back there [in front],” said Thomas. “My heart went out to her that day because she’s one of those horses who’s just too good to not be a graded stakes winner.” 

Bay Storm’s two other graded placings came when second, defeated a half-length by Quattroelle, in the Grade 3 Megahertz in February at Santa Anita Park and third in the Grade 3 Suwannee River in December at Gulfstream Park. She has amassed $578,080 in total purse earnings through a lifetime record of 14-4-6-3. 

“It’s kind of a rarity in the business having horses like her,” said Thomas. “This is her 15th start and for her to have showed up consistently and also perform consistently, she is a really neat mare. Everyone loves her around the barn and she’s awfully nice to have.” 

Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez will guide Bay Storm from post 5 as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. 

Empress Tigress wins the Coronation Cup (Janet Garaguso)

Thomas also provided an update on Augustin Stables’ stakes-winning filly Empress Tigress, who has not raced since finishing seventh in a December optional claiming tilt at Gulfstream. The Classic Empire chestnut, who won last year’s Coronation Cup and finished second in the Galway at Saratoga Race Course, has been retired from racing and was successfully bred to multiple graded stakes-winner Charlatan. 

“She is in foal to Charlatan and hopefully she’ll make a really nice mama,” said Thomas. “Hopefully we can have one of her offspring come up to Saratoga for us. She was a neat filly, was very fast and is a beautiful horse.” 

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