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LEXINGTON, KY – A perfectly-timed ride from Tyler Gaffalione helped Gary Barber’s Got Stormy rocket home from the rear of the field to nail Into Mystic at the wire and win Friday’s $150,000 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
Got Stormy broke a bit slowly from post 10 as the 4/5 favorite and lingered near the rear, ahead of just Winning Envelope as the field raced down the backstretch.
Jakarta set the tempo up front, posting opening fractions of :21.84 and :44.94, but Into Mystic – who stalked early, dropped back in the far turn, then tipped out at the top of the stretch – overtook Jakarta in mid-stretch.
Gaffalione waited until Got Stormy was out in the clear, well after straightening for home, to give her the green light, but as soon as he pressed on the accelerator, she was gone.
Ranging up alongside Into Mystic in deep stretch, the Mark Casse-trained Got Stormy got her nose down first on the wire, completing the 5 1/2-furlong sprint over a good turf course in 1:02.33.
“She didn’t get away the cleanest,” Gaffalione said. “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.”
Hard-luck Into Mystic crossed 1 length ahead of Jakarta, who stayed on well to save third despite losing the lead in mid-stretch.
Change of Control, Winning Envelope, Surrender Now, Stillwater Cove, Ambassador Luna, Violent Times, and Chalon completed the order of finish.
Bohemian Bourbon and Tomlin were scratched.
Got Stormy’s win was her second straight following the Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes (G3) and improved her overall record to 25-10-5-3 with $1,991,387 earned. The 5-year-old Get Stormy mare, second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), is expected to return next month for the Breeders’ Cup in either the Mile or the Turf Sprint (G1).
“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 and the Turf Sprint),” Casse said. “It’s all going to depend on weather.”
Got Stormy returned $3.80 to win, $3 to place, and $2.60 to show. Into Mystic brought back $4.40 to place and $2.80 to show, while Jakarta paid $3.80 to show.
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