06/29/2011 4:43PM

Churchill Downs: Get Stormy won’t make Firecracker

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Tom Keyser
Get Stormy, with Ramon Dominguez riding, wins the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Firecracker Handicap lost its highweight and favorite when trainer Tommy Bush phoned Churchill racing officials Tuesday morning to inform them that he would not be sending Get Stormy from Belmont Park.

Get Stormy, the only horse in North America to win as many as two Grade 1 races this year (the Maker’s Mark Mile and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic), would have carried 123 pounds in the 21st running of the Grade 2, $175,000 Firecracker, a one-mile turf race that helps close out the meet Monday. Get Stormy was third as a 4-5 favorite in the June 12 Monmouth Stakes.

“Mr. Bush told us the Firecracker is coming up just a little bit too soon since his last race,” said Churchill's racing secretary, Ben Huffman. “That’s a big blow for us, but the good news is we’ll probably get more guys in. There were some folks who’ve told us they didn’t want to run against Get Stormy.”

The defection of Get Stormy leaves General Quarters as the likely 119-pound highweight. Other probable starters of note include Baryshnikov, Strike Impact, Lubash, Mister Marti Gras, and Wise Dan. Entries will be drawn Friday.