Ground Storm Stymies Foes Once Again
Date Posted: 3/6/2004 5:35:33 PM
Last Updated: 3/6/2004 5:49:50 PM

Ground Storm wins the Stymie Stakes.
Photo: AP/NYRA, Adam Coglianese
(from Aqueduct report)
Centennial Farm's 8-year-old Ground Storm overtook front-running Classic Endeavor on the home turn, and then held off a resolute Big Sid's Party by 1 1/4 length to win the $81,625 Stymie Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at nine furlongs at Aqueduct Park.

The Stymie is the last scheduled race on Aqueduct's inner track for the season. The inner tack season concludes on Sunday, and after two dark days, Aqueduct's 38-day spring meet will begin with the return to racing on the main track and a 1 p.m. first race post.

It was the second Stymie victory for Ground Storm. The Summer Squall horse won this race in 2002 and ran third last year behind Snake Mountain, who nosed Classic Endeavor at the wire in 2003.

The track was sloppy and sealed, and Classic Endeavor and jockey C.C. Lopez took to the lead in hopes of stealing the race.

Their pace of :23 2/5; :47 4/5; 1:12 1/5 discouraged no one, particularly Ground Storm who made his move on the turn under jockey Javier Castellano. Despite the rally of Big Sid's Party, Ground Storm had no problem, coming home the winner in 1:50 4/5.

Bill Mott trains the winner.

It was second win in as many starts this year for Ground Storm and his 11th in 34 career tries. He will, however, be sad to leave the inner track, as his record here now reads 5-2-2 from nine starts.

Nothing Flat was third, followed by Classic Endeavor.

The winner paid $5.30, $3 and $2.40. Big Sid's Party paid $3.50 and $2.50, and Nothing Flat returned $3 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)

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