HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gary Barber’s Got Stormy is scheduled to flaunt her gaudy Grade 1 credentials in Saturday’s $75,000 Powder Break at Gulfstream Park, where the daughter of Get Stormy kicked off an auspicious 2019 campaign with an optional claiming allowance victory.
Got Stormy had been under consideration for the May 25 Shoemaker Mile (G1), but trainer Mark Casse has instead opted to send Barber’s Preakness winner War of Will to the West Coast for his first start on turf since his juvenile season in the Santa Anita stakes.
“She’s already a Grade 1 winner, so the Shoemaker Mile wouldn’t be as important to her as War of Will,” said Casse, whose goal is to make Barber’s War of Will a Grade 1 winner on turf, as well as dirt, to enhance his stallion potential.
Got Stormy, who broke her maiden at Gulfstream in February 2018 before blossoming into a star turf performer, raced at Santa Anita in her most recent start, finishing second in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1), coming up a neck short of victory after setting the pace.
“She’s training extremely well. She went out and ran a great race in California her last start. It’s tough when you ship all the way to California. You’re taking a disadvantage there,” Casse said. “She got beat a neck. She ran her rear end off in their house. I’m very proud of her.”
Got Stormy has given her Hall of Fame-elect trainer a lot reasons to be proud, coming off a 2019 in which she collected two Grade 1 victories and two Grade 1 placings. She trounced the boys in the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga in August before finishing second in the Woodbine Mile (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) against males and capping her season with a victory in the Matriarch (G1) at Santa Anita.
“She ran great in the Fourstardave, a Grade 1. Her race in the Breeders’ Cup was good, but I don’t know if it was her best effort. I kind of felt like she tailed off a little bit towards the latter part of the year,” Casse said. “She did still go out there and win the Grade 1 [Matriarch] in California, so that was nice.”
After breaking her maiden at Gulfstream in her third career start, Got Stormy went on to win three stakes, including her first graded stakes score in the Ontario Colleen (G3) at Woodbine. She truly came into her own last year as a 4-year-old, as did the Casse-trained Tepin, the multiple Grade 1 stakes-winning mare and two-time Eclipse Award-winning superstar.
“If you look at Tepin and Got Stormy, I think it was just being patient with them. They really didn’t get good until 4,” Casse said. “Got Stormy – we got her after her second start – she was very nervous. It took her a long time to relax. With Tepin, she just had some nagging issues at 3.”
Casse, who credits his Ocala training center as a valuable asset in developing future stars, has named Luis Saez to ride Got Stormy Saturday.
Got Stormy is slated to take on 10 rivals in the Powder Break, a mile turf stakes for fillies and mares that also drew a main-track-only entrant.
Todd Pletcher-trained Valiance developed early, winning her first three starts before going to the sidelines. The undefeated 4-year-old daughter of Tapit is set to return to action in the Powder Break off a 10-month layoff.
“She’s been training lights out. I feel like she’s in great form, but it won’t be an easy spot off the layoff,” said Pletcher, who trains Valiance for breeder China Horse Club International Ltd., Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Martin Schwartz. “I feel like she’s training like she’s ready to go.”
Valiance debuted impressive in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race at Gulfstream in April 2019, breaking sharply from the No. 12 post position to press the early pace before drawing clear to score by 1 ¼ lengths over a next-out winner. She came back six weeks later to win an optional claiming allowance at Monmouth before scoring a stakes victory in the Open Mind at Monmouth a month later.
“She seemed like she was training well for her debut, but anytime you run long on the grass the first time, you’re not really sure what they’ll do. But she performed really well that day,” Pletcher said. “It’s pretty rare you see one go maiden, a-other-than, stake their first three starts, so she’s a pretty impressive filly.”
Nik Juarez, who was aboard for Valiance’s last two wins, has the return mount.
Trainer Chad Brown is represented by two entrants in the Powder Break field – Tapit Today and Noor Sahara. William Lawrence and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Tapit Today finished third in the Feb. 8 Suwanee River (G3) at Gulfstream last time out. Ecurie Jean-Louis Bouchard’s Noor Sahara is scheduled to make her U.S. debut after winning two of eight starts in France.
Dylan Davis has the mount on Tapit Today, while Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on Noor Sahara.
Valedictorian, a multiple graded-stakes winner who captured the 2019 Suwanee River at Gulfstream, will return to graded-stakes competition after finishing third in the Sand Springs at Gulfstream March 28.
Joe Bravo has been named to ride the Kelly Breen-trained daughter of Temple City, who is owned by Epic Racing.
Silver Kitten, who is owned by Daniel Feiss, Brian Terner, Corms Racing Stable, Stephen Kennedy and Hugh Lynch, is slated to seek her fourth victory in her last five starts Saturday. The Danny Gargan-trained daughter of Kitten’s Joy finished second in the Honey Fox (G3), sandwiched between a pair of optional claiming allowance wins during the Championship Meet at Gulfstream.
Emisael Jaramillo is scheduled to ride Silver Kitten for the first time Saturday.
Three Diamonds Farm’s Jakarta, who captured a March 19 optional claiming allowance in her 2020 debut and first start for trainer Michael Maker since being purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December sale, is slated to make her stakes debut Saturday under Edgard Zayas.
W.W. Fitzy, Great Sister Diane, Goodbye Brockley and main-track-only entrant Bella Ciao round out the field.
Gulfstream Press Release
Photo: Got Stormy in a workout at Palm Meadows. Credit: Dana Wimpfheimer