MyRacehorse Stable and Spendthrift Farm’s multiple Grade 1-winner Got Stormy joins defending race-winner and fellow mare Oleksandra in taking on the boys in Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Jackpocket Jaipur, a six-furlong turf sprint on Belmont Stakes Day.
The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival runs from Thursday through Saturday, June 5, culminating with the 153rd running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets. The festival will encompass 17 total stakes, including eight Grade 1s on Belmont Stakes Day, capped by the “Test of the Champion” for 3-year-olds in the 1 1/2-mile final leg of the Triple Crown. First post on Belmont Stakes Day is 11:35 a.m. Eastern.
The 35th running of the Jackpocket Jaipur is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November at Del Mar.
Got Stormy, a 6-year-old Get Stormy chestnut trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, boasts a record of 28-11-5-3 with purse earnings in excess of $2.1 million. The fan-favorite enjoyed a memorable summer campaign in 2019, besting the boys on one week’s rest in course-record fashion in the Grade 1 Fourstardave, covering the mile in 1:32 flat over the firm inner turf at Saratoga. She completed her 2019 campaign with a win in the one-mile, Grade 1 Matriarch at Del Mar.
Last year, Got Stormy, made her first three starts at distances of one mile or greater before turning back to 6 1/2-furlongs to win the Grade 3 Ladies Sprint in September over soft going at Kentucky Downs. She followed with a win in the Grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County at 5 1/2-furlongs on “good” Keeneland turf in October ahead of a close fifth, defeated two lengths by the victorious Glass Slippers, in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November at Keeneland.
Got Stormy launched her current campaign with a nose win in the one-mile Grade 3 Honey Fox in February at Gulfstream, but was an even fifth last out in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile on May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Casse said the cut back in distance should benefit his charge.
“She likes to have a target,” said Casse. “A lot of times in these mile races, the pace isn’t fast enough for her to have a target and we’re hoping that won’t be the case going three quarters.”
The veteran conditioner noted Got Stormy has proven comfortable on soft going at sprint distances.
“If there’s some give in the ground, she won’t mind it going six furlongs,” said Casse. “The give in the ground only bothers her going a mile, when she has some distance limitations.”
Tyler Gaffalione will ride Got Stormy from post 11.
Team Valor International’s Oleksandra rallied to win last year’s Jaipur by a neck over Kanthaka. The 7-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom, who sports a ledger of 19-7-4-3 with purse earnings of $568,248, is winless in three starts this season.
Last out, the Neil Drysdale trainee rallied from 10th to finish fifth in the Unbridled Sydney at 5 1/2-furlongs over “good” Churchill Downs turf on April 29.
Joe Bravo has the call from post 9.
Multiple graded stakes-winner Bound for Nowhere, owned and trained by Wesley Ward, has flashed brilliance through a career record of 15-7-2-2 and purse earnings just shy of $1 million.
The 7-year-old son of The Factor garnered a 107 Beyer Speed Figure winning the 2018 Grade 2 Shakertown at Keeneland ahead of a close third in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Ascot.
In 2019, Bound for Nowhere narrowly missed defending his Shakertown title when second, by a neck, to Imprimis. Last year Bound for Nowhere made just two starts, including a pacesetting third in the Shakertown, when a neck back of the victorious Leinster.
Bound for Nowhere made his seasonal debut by winning the Shakertown in dramatic fashion, besting familiar foe Imprimis by a nose over good Keeneland turf on April 13
Ward said Bound for Nowhere, a former workmate of multiple Group 1-winning mare Lady Aurelia, has turned a corner both physically and mentally as he looks to secure a first Grade 1 win.
“He’s had a lot of minor issues along the way that’s taken a lot of time to get to the races, which is why he’s only had 15 total starts in his career, but this year he really turned the corner,” said Ward. “Each and every work is better than I’ve ever seen. He’s always been the type of horse that wouldn’t put much effort into his works. He used to be Lady Aurelia’s workmate and he would get outworked every week.
“I know she was great, but this guy is a completely different work horse in the morning,” added Ward. “He’s not letting anyone outwork him when he’s in company. His times are significantly better than in the past. As you go into these big races, you’re always dealing with issues. This time we’re dealing with zero issues.”
Bound for Nowhere will exit post 6 under Joel Rosario.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will saddle a pair of contenders in Casa Creed and Chewing Gum.
LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable’s Casa Creed [post 2, Junior Alvarado], a 5-year-old Jimmy Creed bay, made the grade in the one-mile, Grade 2 Hall of Fame in August 2019 at Saratoga. A veteran of 19 starts with a record of 4-3-3 and purse earnings of $535,408, Casa Creed rallied to a smart score in the Elusive Quality in his third start of the campaign.
Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and Jerold Zaro’s graded-stakes placed Chewing Gum [post 1, Jose Ortiz] closed to finish second in the six-furlong Grade 3 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational in October at Belmont. The consistent 6-year-old son of Candy Ride boasts a record of 17-3-3-6 and purse earnings of $308,288.
Mott also entered the stakes-placed Secret Rules for the main-track only.
Swifty Farms’ Sombeyay, a 5-year-old son of Into Mischief trained by Peter Miller, has attracted the services of Flavien Prat from post 12.
Previously conditioned by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Sombeyay captured the six-furlong 2018 Grade 3 Sanford on the Saratoga main track and added a win in the one-mile Grade 3 Canadian Turf in February 2020 at Gulfstream.
Sombeyay has made five starts for Miller since November, including an optional-claiming score on the Santa Anita turf in January. He has finished second in his most recent two starts in turf sprints, missing by a neck in the six-furlong Grade 3 San Simeon in March at Santa Anita and by a half-length to Fast Boat last out in the 5 1/2-furlong Grade 2 Turf Sprint on April 30 at Churchill Downs.
Robert D. Bone’s multiple stakes winner Completed Pass, a 7-year-old Indiana-bred son of Pass Rush, has enjoyed turf sprint success on the Midlantic circuit, taking the Laurel Dash in September and the King T. Leatherbury in April at Pimlico.
Trained by Claudio Gonzalez, Completed Pass will exit post 3 under Angel Cruz.
Completing the field are Fast Boat [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr.], Greyes Creek [post 5, Ricardo Santana, Jr.], Gregorian Chant [post 8, Luis Saez], and Stubbins [post 10, Javier Castellano].
The Jackpocket Jaipur is slated as Race 6 on the 13-race card.
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Photo: Got Stormy, ( NYRA / SR Photo)