LEXINGTON, Ky. – Gary Barber’s Got Stormy caught Into Mystic right at the finish line to post a nose victory in the 24th running of the $150,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County (G3) for fillies and mares Friday afternoon.
Trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Got Stormy covered the 5½ furlongs on a turf course rated as good in 1:02.33.
Jakarta led the field of 10 through a first quarter-mile in :21.84 as Gaffalione had Got Stormy in ninth and in the clear. Jakarta maintained the advantage through the half-mile, turning back initial bids from Surrender Now and Stillwater Cove.
“She didn’t get away the cleanest. I didn’t want to rush her – I thought I’d just let her settle. She was much the best here, so we’ll come with our run. She really finished up nice. She’s got some turn of foot. Whatever we throw at her she keeps delivering. I just feel so privileged to be able to ride her,” Gaffalione explained.
At the head of the stretch, Into Mystic launched a bid three wide to get first run at the leader while Got Stormy swung six wide with three horses beat to begin her run. Into Mystic got the lead at midstretch from Jakarta but could not hold off the final surge from Got Stormy.
The victory was worth $90,000 and boosted Got Stormy’s career earnings to $1,991,378 with a record of 25-10-5-3 that includes two Grade 1 victories.
Mark Casse, via phone: “My goodness, I wasn’t sure (if she got there). I called (owner) Gary (Barber) and he was like ‘I think we got beat.’ She got shuffled back pretty good and I was like ‘Oh, Tyler’. And then I kind of got excited because I knew when he wheeled her out she would come running. But that second place horse (Into Mystic) was tough, she hung in there. She didn’t give it up. But what a wonderful mare (Got Stormy) is. Unbelievable.”
Commenting on her next race: “Gary and I will talk about it and if the turf course were to be extremely firm (for the Breeders’ Cup) it would be a decision (between the Mile-G1 and the Turf Sprint-G1). It’s all going to depend on weather.”
David Carroll, assistant to Casse added: “She broke just a tad slow. When I saw the fractions, I wasn’t overly concerned. She’s trained beautifully. She’s a champion. When (jockey Tyler Gaffalione) had to go wide around the turn, I was a little bit afraid we might have given away too much ground. What an amazing kick. What a great ride. She found a way to win.”
A Keeneland sales graduate, Got Stormy is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Get Stormy out of the Malabar Gold mare Super Phoebe.
Got Stormy paid $3.80, $3 and $2.60. Into Mystic, ridden by Joe Talamo, returned $4.40 and $2.80 and finished a length in front of Jakarta, who paid $3.80 to show under Javier Castellano.
“We would loved to have won, of course, but she ran great. You can’t ask for more than for her to show up. She got in a little tight on the turn. Maybe if (jockey Joe Talamo) would have had a little smoother trip, it would have made a difference (in the outcome). But that’s racing. She proved today that she is a very, very good filly and that she can run with the best of them,” said Brendan Walsh, trainer of runner-up Into Mystic.
It was another length back to Change of Control, who was followed in order by Winning Envelope, Surrender Now, Stillwater Cove, Ambassador Luna, Violent Times and Chalon.
Click here for a replay of the race and the post-race interview with winning connections.
Sisk and Diodoro Team for Hat Trick
M and M Racing of Mike Sisk teamed with trainer Robertino Diodoro and jockey David Cohen to win three races on Friday’s 10-race program.
Their day started in the second race with a 10¾-length victory by Nomizar ($8.80), continued in the fourth with Ghostly Who ($14.20) and capped a perfect afternoon in the eighth with Strike That ($14.40).
With the hat trick, M and M Racing moved to the top of the owner standings after six days of the 17-day meet that runs through Oct. 24.
Racing continues Saturday with a 10-race program beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET and featuring the 37th running of the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) Presented by Dixiana that goes as the ninth race with a 5:30 p.m. post time.
Keeneland will offer a Super High 5 carryover of $31,201.52
Photo: Got Stormy. Credit: Keeneland/Coady