09/17/2012 12:57PM

Woodbine: Stormy Rush in softer spot for optional claiming sprint


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Stormy Rush gets some noteworthy class relief in Wednesday’s fourth race at Woodbine, and he drew well on the outside in the second-level allowance with a $62,500-60,000 claiming option.

Stormy Rush, a 4-year-old trained by Roger Attfield, has competed strictly on the grass since notching an allowance on the Polytrack second time out at 2. In the fall of that campaign, he finished third in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes and was fourth in the Grade 3 Bourbon.

After missing most of his 3-year-old season, Stormy Rush returned from a one-year layoff April 18 to land a second-level allowance at Keeneland. He subsequently ran fifth here in both the Grade 2 Connaught Cup and Grade 2 Highlander Stakes against some salty opposition.

Stormy Rush lost an open allowance by just a neck to Artic Fern and Bigstormbrewin’ on Aug. 6, when he earned a career-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure. Finishing behind him that day were the crack sprinters Essence Hit Man and Smokey Fire.

Most recently in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes, Stormy Rush fought for the lead through slow fractions before fading to finish sixth among nine talented runners.

Jesse Campbell retains the mount on Stormy Rush, who breezed a half-mile in a bullet 46.60 seconds on the Polytrack on Sept. 7.

Run to the Bank is the only entrant in the 6 1/2-furlong feature without a claiming tag. With four wins in eight starts, the 4-year-old is in the midst of his most productive season so far.

Run to the Bank defeated low-level claimers twice in the spring and then cleared the first allowance condition going 6 1/2 furlongs July 1. He got an 82 Beyer while capturing a seven-furlong starter allowance on the front end Aug. 17.

Run to the Bank went long in an optional claimer Sept. 8 and managed to make up some ground along the inside from off a slow pace to end up third. Regular rider Justin Stein will guide him over this more appropriate distance.

Buongiorno Johnny and Zip It Nance figure to link up on the lead.

Buongiorno Johnny beat $40,000 conditioned claimers on the grass May 30 and has since run second against $50,000 and $62,500 opposition. Tyler Pizarro, who rode him in a victory in the 2011 Vandal Stakes, will get a leg up from trainer Sid Attard on the 3-year-old.

Zip It Nance finished up the track against $40,000 stock Aug. 22, when he was claimed by high-percentage trainer Katerina Vassilieva.

Completing the field are Cold Harbor and Tierra Del Tigre.