Jockey Tyler Gaffalione guides Got Stormy to the winner’s circle after their victory in the Grade I, $300,000 Matriarch Stakes, Sunday, December 1, 2019 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA. © BENOIT PHOTO

As the sands move through the hourglass we can all be privy to certain things that have a “Wow” factor. The piece of heaven on earth we call Keeneland Race Course has seen many of those moments over the years. Thanks to one fantastic athlete, another was created on October 9.

Got Stormy is one of those Thoroughbreds that can be referred to as a “real racehorse”. Full of courage and possessing a tremendous turn of foot, this five-year old female has not been perfect in her twenty five-race career, but she has given race fans many memorable moments. Her most recent came in the grade 3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes.

Making her mark in the history books on the turf, this daughter of Get Stormy has turned in some huge efforts. A girl that likes to travel, this Mark Casse trained runner has graced twelve different tracks with her presence. One of the things that makes her “real” in the race horse category is the fact she has displayed her beauty in eight different winner’s circles. That means she is a horse for any course.

A calculating conditioner, Casse made the call to shorten up his star. Normally running in one mile races, Stormy was going to try and strike in the Turf Sprint division. Deciding to experiment at Kentucky Downs in the 6 ½ furlong Ladies Turf Sprint on September 12, Got Stormy made her trainer look like a genius. Powerfully scoring by a widening 3 ½ lengths, this Kentucky-bred added to an already impressive resume’.

Choosing to stay on the Bluegrass, Stormy landed at Keeneland for the Buffalo Trace. Run at the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint distance of 5 ½ furlongs, this shorter race would be another challenge for the late-running granddaughter of Malabar Gold. With toes on this historic turf, it was time for the latest test.

A torrid early pace (21.84 opening quarter, 44.94 half mile) saw Got Stormy near the back of a ten-horse field. Sitting sixth at the top of the stretch, it looked as if this heroine would still be in search of a win at Keeneland. Urged by jockey Tyler Gafflione, it was show time for Stormy.

With the wire in sight and front-runners Into Mystic and Jakarta going strong, Casse’s charge was running out of time. Like lightning from the clouds, Got Stormy struck. Closing with ground gobbling strides under Gafflione, she simply refused to lose. The final yards of the race saw this amazing surge from an athlete who only envisioned the thrill of victory.  Getting up by a nose, Got Stormy etched her name in the Keeneland history books with a heart-filled effort that epitomizes the finer points of this great game.

The post race analysis from her star-struck trainer was summarized in one word. “Special” says Casse.

Anyone that watches the race will likely concur.  Keeneland will play host to the 2020 Breeders’ Cup and will likely see Got Stormy make another run at even more greatness.