Casse 'All Smiles' After Get Stormy's Fourstardave Victory, 104 Beyer Speed Figure - Horse Racing News

Got Stormy in the winner’s circle for the Grade 1 Fourstardave at Saratoga.



Trainer Mark Casse was all smiles on Sunday morning at Saratoga Race Course after securing his first Grade 1 victory as a newly enshrined Hall of Famer when Got Stormy bested males to win the $500,000 Fourstardave for the second time on Saturday.

Owned by Spendthrift Farm and MyRacehorse Stable, Got Stormy set a course record over the inner turf capturing the 2019 Fourstardave in a time of 1:32 flat with Ricardo Santana, Jr. up.

After finishing second in last year’s running to pacesetting Halladay, the 6-year-old chestnut daughter of 2010 Fourstardave victor Get Stormy vindicated herself with a sharp 1 ½-length triumph under Tyler Gaffalione.

The victory registered a 104 Beyer Speed Figure, a tenth lifetime triple-digit number for the talented mare, and included a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile on November 6 at Del Mar.

Despite last week’s Hall of Fame induction, the summer campaign had been a frustrating one for Casse, who was winless at the current Saratoga meet before Got Stormy’s Fourstardave coup.

“It’s been a rough meet, but my wife [Tina] said it best: ‘It’s been gloomy in Saratoga until the storm blew through,’” Casse said.

Got Stormy arrived at the Fourstardave off two fifth-place finishes at graded stakes level after making her seasonal bow a winning one in the Grade 3 Honey Fox on February 27 at Gulfstream Park.

Sent off at 12-1 odds, Casse said he nevertheless felt confident in his mare because of her demeanor in the paddock.

“It’s her. She just gets happy,” Casse said. “She was walking around after I had saddled her and I told Tyler, ‘She’s got her game face on today, they better be ready,’ I could tell she just wanted to go out there and do it.”

Casse said Got Stormy, a seven-time graded stakes winner with graded scores at six different tracks, will appreciate a return to Del Mar, where she captured the Grade 1 Matriarch in her final start of 2019.

“The good news for us is she’s 1-for-1 at Del Mar,” Casse said. “We should have hard and fast [turf] there, and the turns aren’t quite as tight as they are here but they’re sharp. I want to get one race into her, I just haven’t figured out where I want to do that yet.

“She just loves training here so much. Most horses do,” Casse added regarding Got Stormy’s affinity for Saratoga. “She enjoys the tight turns. She can run around a turn like most horses can’t, so that helps.”

Casse mentioned the possibility of attempting a dual conquest in the $600,000 Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint on September 11 at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky.

“I can go to Kentucky Downs just as a prep, run her at 6 ½ [furlongs] and we don’t care about the weather,” Casse said. “If it rains, it’s okay. Where the soft ground hurts us is when she’s trying to get a mile.”

Previously owned by Gary Barber, Got Stormy was purchased for $2.75 million by Spendthrift Farm at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton November Sale.

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Ned Toffey of Spendthrift Farm said he was delighted to see the superstar mare secure a Grade 1 victory when sporting Spendthrift’s orange and purple silks.

“Mark was very confident. He said she was doing so well,” Toffey recalled. “I think clearly, she really likes Saratoga. It was just great to see. This was so gratifying because when Mr. [B. Wayne] Hughes decided to get involved with MyRacehorse, he really believed that this was something that would be successful, but what they need are really good horses.

“She didn’t appear to have lost any steps yesterday so that was great to see,” Toffey continued. “She’s such a gutsy, hard trying mare. You just love to see that kind do well.”

Toffey said he felt gratified to be able to provide the multiple MyRacehorse partners a prestigious victory at Saratoga.

“To get a Grade 1 and to be able to see a project like this come full circle, work out this way, and have a bunch of enthusiastic MyRacehorse fans to be there and share it with us was a great feeling,” Toffey said.

Casse said that maiden Volcanic, a two-time starting son of Violence owned by Breeze Easy, could race back in the $300,000 Grade 1 Hopeful on September 6. The $230,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase finished third last out in a six-furlong maiden event on July 24 at the Spa.

The Hall of Fame trainer said Live Oak Plantation’s graded stakes-winner Souper Sensational, who finished second in the Grade 1 Longines Test here on August 7, could race back in the $250,000 Grade 2 Prioress on September 4 at the Spa.

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