02/09/2012 2:46PM

Gulfstream: Get Stormy begins Breeders' Cup quest in Gulfstream Turf Handicap


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Get Stormy has run only two bad races in recent memory, Unfortunately for trainer Tom Bush, both those races came in the Breeders’ Cup.

Get Stormy will begin a journey that Bush hopes may lead to redemption in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup when he carries top weight of 121 pounds in Saturday’s $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. The only Grade 1 grass race of the local season, the Gulfstream Turf lured a field of 11 that also includes Silver Medallion, Smart Bid, Al Khali, and Boisterous.

Get Stormy finished far back after setting the early pace in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, certainly an unhappy ending to what had been a successful season that featured Grade 1 wins in the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland and the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs. Get Stormy also finished third, beaten just a length, after forcing the pace in the 2011 Gulfstream Park Turf.

Get Stormy also tired badly to finish far behind Goldikova and Gio Ponti in the 2010 BC Mile, completing a year that included back-to-back Grade 2 wins at Saratoga in the Bernard Baruch and Fourstardave.

“I don’t even want to talk about the Breeders’ Cup,” said Bush. “He’s run two dreadful races in his career and both were in the Breeders’ Cup for which I have no explanation. He’s coming into this race well although the layoff is a bit of a concern going a mile and one eighth. Pace may have an influence but I haven’t babied him, I’ve trained him very hard and I just hope we’ve done enough. I certainly think we have.”

Silver Medallion has flourished since moving into trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn last summer and sticking strictly to grass. Silver Medallion is coming off Grade 3 victories in Calder’s Tropical Turf Handicap and the Ft. Lauderdale here on Jan. 14. Silver Medallion’s performance in the Ft. Lauderdale was particularly impressive and showed a new dimension for the son of Badge of Silver who rallied very wide from the rear of the pack to neck decision over Yummy With Butter.

“He accomplished what we were hoping for in his last two runs,” said Pletcher. “We’ve gotten him to relax and finish up well. There’s a chance the course might be on the soft side Saturday but he seemed to handle it well last fall at Churchill Downs and he’s probably an even better horse now.”

Smart Bid suffered a heart-breaking nose setback at the hands of Teaks North in last year’s Gulfstream Park Turf and was also a close second behind Get Stormy three months later in the Turf Classic. He has not started since finishing eighth as the even-money favorite over yielding ground in the President’s Cup at Parx in mid-September.

Al Khali, who was cross-entered in the Donn, went winless in seven starts for trainer Bill Mott in 2011, the last five of which came against Grade 1 company. He did close out the season finishing third in both the Sword Dancer at Saratoga and Woodbine’s Northern Dancer, a pair of 1 1/2-mile races.

Boisterous won 4 of 7 starts in 2011, closing out the year with victories in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker and Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap. He was also third in the Grade 1 Man o’ War. A soft turf course should work to his advantage.

Trainer Barclay Tagg was also praying for rain and a softer turf course for Kindergarden Kid, who rallied from dead last to finish fourth, beaten a length, in the Ft. Lauderdale.

Yummy With Butter set the pace and held gamely to cross the finish line second, just a neck behind Silver Medallion, in the Ft. Lauderdale only to be disqualified and placed sixth for bumping a rival through the stretch.

Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1), Post Time: 5:13 ET Saturday

Purse: $300,000; 1 1/8 miles (T)





ML Odds


Silver Medallion

T. Pletcher

J. Castellano




R. Attfield

J. Lezcano



Big Blue Kitten

C. Brown

J. Leparoux



Yummy With Butter

Y. Belsoeur

P. Lopez




C. McGaughey III

J. Velazquez



Yankee Fourtune

K. McLaughlin

R. Maragh



Get Stormy

T. Bush

R. Dominguez



Kindergarten Kid

B. Tagg

J. Bravo



Smart Bid

H. Motion

E. Prado



Al Khali

W. Mott

A. Garcia




K. McLaughlin

R. Maragh