ARCADIA, CA – While dueling for the length of the stretch, Stormy Liberal and Conquest Tsunami put on quite a show for the fans on Santa Anita Park’s opening day before Stormy Liberal edged his Peter Miller stablemate by a head to win the Grade 3, $100,000 Eddie D Stakes.
Breaking from post 3 as the 2-1 favorite under Drayden Van Dyke, Stormy Liberal stalked just off of Conquest Tsunami’s early lead as the field ran down the turf hill through opening fractions of :21.58 and :42.79. Coming out as he hit the stretch, Stormy Liberal rallied hard to collar Conquest Tsunami before prevailing late in a final time of 1:10.93, just 0.20 seconds shy of the record for the 6 1/2-furlong event.
“He knows where the wire is, for sure, but I think he could’ve won by 3 (lengths),” Van Dyke said. “I thought I’d be a little farther back, but he broke like a rocket, so I was up close.”
After breaking slowly, Caribou Club was able to rally late and get up for third by a 1/2-length over Law Abidin Citizen. Much farther back, Kenjisstorm necked out fifth over Threefiveindia, with Cistron another head back in seventh. He Will and Touching Rainbows completed the order of finish in the nine-horse field.
Stormy Liberal’s win was his third straight and improved his overall record to 29-11-8-1. The 6-year-old gelded son of Stormy Atlantic increased his lifetime earnings to $1,368,930 for owners Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen.
“Both horses ran great,” Miller said. “When they crossed the dirt, I thought Flavien (Prat, aboard Conquest Tsunami) might be gone, but Stormy, he’s got so much heart. He just shows up. Both horses ran a phenomenal race.”
Miller said that both horses will likely target the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on November 3. While Stormy Liberal is that race’s defending champion, he and Conquest Tsunami may not be the only ones from Miller’s contingent to show up.
“We’ll try to keep ’em both as good as they were today and hope for the best,” Miller said. “We might have three or four (for the Turf Sprint). We’ve got Richard’s Boy, and Belvoir Bay just beat the boys, so we might run her.”
Winner returned $ to win, $ to place, and $ to show. Place brought back $ to place and $ to show, while Show paid $ to show.