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FLORENCE, KY – Trainer William Morey’s Hush of a Storm extended his local unbeaten streak to 3 with a solid stretch-run score in Friday’s $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park.
Hush of a Storm broke from post 8 under Santiago Gonzalez at 6/1 odds and settled off while the even-money favorite Gretzky the Great set the pace from the rail. Pico d’Oro (also a Morey trainee) soon challenged him along the outside through pressured opening fractions of :23.86, :47.11, and 1:11.24.
Gretzky the great straightened for home with a slight advantage, but as Pico d’Oro began to give way, Like the King and Hush of a Storm threatened his lead by the top of the stretch.
Hush of a Storm advanced to the lead near the 1/8 pole, and though he drifted in some late, he was still strong enough to cross the wire 1 1/2 lengths clear, completing the 1 1/16-mile fast synthetic route in 1:44 flat.
Like the King edged Gretzky the Great for second by a neck, while Hard Rye Guy was a length further back in fourth. Hard Rye Guy was advancing on the rail but had to check back and tip out after Hush of a Storm’s drifting action caused a domino effect of horses coming over in front of him.
Following the race, jockey Rafael Bejarano aboard Like the King lodged a complaint against Gonzalez and Hush of a Storm, alleging interference in deep stretch that cost him a shot at winning. After a lengthy review, however, the stewards kept the original order of finish intact.
Catman, Twirling Mamba, Fort Moultrie, Pico d’Oro, Notable Exception, The Predicament, and Bakwena completed the order of finish.
Kinetic Sky and Warrior in Chief scratched.
The Battaglia is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Hush of a Storm earned 10 points for the win, with Like the King receiving 4 for second, Gretzky the Great 2 for third, and Hard Rye Guy 1 for fourth.
Hush of a Storm’s win was his third straight, all routing over this course, and improved his overall mark to 4-3-0-0 with $65,985 earned. The New York-bred Creative Cause colt is owned by Josephy Morey Jr.
Hush of a Storm returned $15.40 to win, $6 to place, and $4 to show. Like the King brought back $6 to place and $3.20 to show. Gretzky the Great paid $2.80 to show.
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