SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stable’s Got Stormy, who just one week ago came within 0.02 seconds of breaking the course record, returned against the boys and flew home in an earthshattering top time to win Saturday’s $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.
The Fourstardave is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Got Stormy receiving an automatic berth in the TVG Mile at Santa Anita Park this November.
Breaking alertly from post 6 under new rider Ricardo Santana, Jr., Got Stormy initially looked like she might find herself on the lead, until the far outside-breaking Gidu launched himself forward to take command heading into the clubhouse turn. Blazing himself a path several lengths ahead of his competition, Gidu rocketed along through opening fractions of :22.65, :44.61, and 1:08.36.
As the field rounded the far turn, Gidu’s gigantic margin had shrunk and soon vanished when Made You Look shot past him at the top of the stretch. Behind the new leader, Got Stormy was finishing fast while not yet asked for her best. At the 1/16 pole, Got Stormy swept to the lead and took just a single crack from her rider before finishing off her counterparts.
Santana, Jr., stood victoriously as the Mark Casse-trained Got Stormy crossed the wire 2 1/2 lengths the best for the mile-long event over the firm inner turf course. Her final time of 1:32.00 obliterated the previous mark of 1:33.13 that Macagone set eight days ago on August 2.
“She’s a monster,” said Santana, Jr. “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.”
Raging Bull rallied strongly from last to nip Uni and March to the Arch at the wire for second. Uni, the field’s other female entry, went off as the 9/5 favorite and finished both a head from second and a head over third. Tyler Gaffalione, Got Stormy’s usual rider, had already committed to riding the Casse-trained March to the Arch before the late decision was made to enter the eventual winner.
Caught late, Made You Look fell back to fifth, a 1/2-length ahead of Hembree. Behind them came Dr. Edgar, Krampus, a gassed Gidu, and a non-threatening Ostilio to complete the order of finish.
Got Stormy’s win was her second straight, having taken the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes here just a week ago. It was also her second at the graded level after scoring in last July’s Ontario Colleen Stakes (G3) at Woodbine. The 4-year-old daughter of Get Stormy improved her record to 15-7-1-3 with $760,078 earned.
“We came back and ran her a week later, which doesn’t happen very often, but she’s turned into a super filly,” Casse said. “I was fortunate to train another filly a few years ago in Tepin, who won the Breeders’ Cup (Mile in 2015) and then was second (in the Mile in 2016). I told Gary early in the year that she was our next Tepin. It’s nice sometimes when you’re right. She’s amazing.”
Got Stormy returned $12 to win, $6 to place, and $3.80 to show. Raging Bull brought back $4.30 to place and $2.80 to show, while Uni paid $2.70 to show.