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DEL MAR, CA – Gary Barber’s Got Stormy continued her turf mile terrorization on Sunday when she mastered the $300,000 Matriarch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar.
Breaking from post 7 under Tyler Gaffalione as the 7/5 favorite, Got Stormy was in no hurry to set the lead, instead opting to take back and settle into mid-pack while running two-wide into the clubhouse turn. Up front, Painting Corners sprinted to a large early lead while posting fractions of :22.55 and :45.55.
Heading into the far turn, Got Stormy ranged up within striking range of new leaders Storm the Hill and Juliet Foxtrot while tipping out to run four-wide. Straightening for home, Got Stormy commenced a sustained outside rally and inched clear of Juliet Foxtrot.
A late furious rally from Daddy Is a Legend came up short of Got Stormy, who hit the wire 3/4 of a length in front. The Mark Casse trainee completed the mile-long event over the firm turf course in a final time of 1:34.24, a new stakes record since the race relocated to Del Mar in 2014.
“Funny, I told Mark in the paddock,” Gaffalione said. “‘I think this race might set up just like the Fourstardave (Handicap [G1]). And if it does, we’ll win.’ Sure enough, it was exactly like that race. Perfect. She just sat back there, nice and relaxed, and then when it came time, she was gone.”
After running last for the early running, Daddy Is a Legend had to weave through traffic in the stretch but had to settle for second for the second straight year. Third went to Juliet Foxtrot, who was unable to sustain her bid from the top of the stretch, with Toinette finishing fourth.
Storm the Hill faded to fifth, a neck past Simply Breathless. Behind them came Significant Form, Giza Goddess, Mucho Unusual, Lakerball, and Painting Corners to complete the order of finish.
Got Stormy’s win was her fourth of the year and followed a narrow second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) won by Uni, the 2018 Matriarch champion. The 4-year-old daughter of Get Stormy now carries a record of 18-8-3-3 with $1,430,578 earned.
“She’s amazing,” Casse said. “Put her on a van, put her on a plane, she just goes wherever and runs. We kept hearing that she’d only won one Grade 1, so we had to fix that. She’s been through a lot in the last month, but she just keeps fighting. You don’t get a lot like her. She’ll definitely stay in training next year.”
Got Stormy returned $4.80 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.40 to show. Daddy Is a Legend brought back $5.60 to place and $3.60 to show, while Juliet Foxtrot paid $3.60 to show.
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