Gary Barber’s Got Stormy, who often runs against males, faced off against fillies on Dec. 1 and took the $302,106 Matriarch Stakes (G1T) at Del Mar.
“It was a grade 1 on the turf, and in the last three or four races, she’s run against the boys, so I said, ‘Why don’t we try her against the girls again and see how she stacks up?'” Barber said. “It’s another grade 1 to put on her résumé. The rest is history.”
Her record is now at 8-3-3 from 18 starts with career earnings of $1,430,578.
Regular jockey Tyler Gaffalione was aboard the 4-year-old filly, and they broke late in the field of 11 fillies and mares. Daddy is a Legend, with Manual Franco as rider, was checked from the break and ended up in the back of the field.
Florida-bred mare Painting Corners took control of the field on the rail and held the lead through fractions of :22.55 and :45.55 through half-mile. Storm the Hill and Juliet Foxtrot were just off the rail.
Juliet Foxtrot ended up taking third, and Toinette followed behind in fourth. The order was completed by Storm the Hill, Simply Breathless, Significant Form, Giza Goddess, Muchu Unusual, and Lakerball. Painting Corners came in last after tiring in the deep stretch.
Off the Board in Eight Starts
Got Stormy finished off the board in eight starts this season, so the Matriarch Stakes was a big win. She entered into the race on Sunday after finishing second against males in the Sept. 14 Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes (G1T) at Woodbine and the Nov. 2 TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1T) at Santa Anita Park.
“I thought she ran a really good race in the Breeders’ Cup, but I wanted to give her another opportunity,” Barber said. “To win it here at Del Mar, which is one of our favorite tracks — it’s a blessing.”
Got Stormy took back-to-back stakes at Saratoga Race Course in early August. Those two week-apart wins were the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Stakes and the Fourstardave Handicap (G1T). The Mark Casse trainee beat her male rivals in the Fourstardave when she finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead. She set a course record for a mile over turf in 1:32 flat.
“She’s really good at a mile,” Gafflione said. “We haven’t really tested her much further, but she’s good at this, so we will stick with it.”
“She’s just special,” Barber echoed. “When she won a week apart — two stakes races at Saratoga — and broke the track record there, beating the boys in a grade 1 … she’s just special.”
Got Stormy is out of the Malabar Gold mare Super Phoebe, and she was bred in Kentucky by Mt. Joy Stables, Pope McLean, Marc McLean, and Pope McLean Jr. She was purchased for $45,000 by Alan Quartucci from Niall Brennan Stables’ consignment to the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Midatlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, and she is the half-sister to stakes-placed Sky Gold.