Get Stormy will shoot for his fourth victory at Saratoga and his second graded stakes victory of the 2010 Spa meeting when he tackles the $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 27.
The 4-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic has emerged victorious in five of his past six races. He won an allowance and the Lure Stakes at Saratoga in 2009, and added to his winning streak by taking the Bryan Station (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland, the Commonwealth Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs, and the Elkwood at Monmouth Park. After finishing fourth in the King Edward (Can-II) at Woodbine on June 27, Get Stormy prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths at Saratoga Aug. 1 in the Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT).
“He’s had four weeks since his last start, which is fine,” said Tom Bush, who trains Get Stormy for Sullimar Stable. “He’s had one workout since that race (a bullet five-furlong drill around dogs on the Oklahoma Turf Course in :59.60 Aug. 20), and it went exceptionally well.”
The Bernard Baruch, a nine-furlong event on the inner turf, will be Get Stormy’s first start beyond 1 1/16 miles.
“We haven’t done it, so we have to see if he can handle it,” said Bush. “Hopefully it won’t be a hurdle. We’re focused on having our horse right and ready.”
Get Stormy, the 9-5 morning-line favorite and 118-pound high weight, will have the services of Javier Castellano and will break from post 5.
Castletop Stable’s Baletti, winner of the Fort Marcy (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park on May 1, will try to rebound after finishing sixth in the Monmouth Stakes (gr. IIIT) on June 12.
“I threw that race out,” said trainer Angel Penna Jr. “He was a maniac that day. It was a hot day. I don’t know if the heat got to him, but he was out of his mind before the race, during the race, and after the race.”
Cornelio Velasquez will ride Baletti, who will break from the rail under 115 pounds as the 5-1 third choice.
Whatsthescript is winless since taking the 2008 Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IIT), but continues to knock on the door in stakes races. Transferred to the barn of Gary Contessa this spring following a season at stud, Whatsthescript was third in the Battlefield at Monmouth on July 10 and fourth in the Fourstardave.
Rajiv Maragh has picked up the mount aboard Whatsthescript, who was installed at 4-1 on the morning line and assigned 115 pounds.
National Kid, winner of three of four starts, steps up in class for the Bernard Baruch. After opening his career with victories at Kentucky Downs and Gulfstream Park, the Brazilian-bred finished sixth in an Aqueduct optional claimer last August. Sent to the sidelines following that effort, the gelding was a gate-to-wire winner of a July 5 Monmouth allowance last time out.
Completing the field are Sudden War, who cuts back in distance following thirds in two grade II events at Santa Anita over the winter and a ninth-place finish in the Elkhorn (gr. IIT) at Keeneland; Nownownow, most recently fourth in the Oceanport (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth; Rogue Victory, winner of a Saratoga allowance on Aug. 5; and Radical Sabbatical, fifth in the Fourstardave.
$200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 5:30 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Baletti (KY), 6/G L C H Velasquez, 115, A J Penna Jr.
2. Whatsthescript (IRE), 6/H L R Maragh, 115, G C Contessa
3. Sudden War (ARG), 5/G L* K J Desormeaux, 116, K G McPeek
4. Nownownow (KY), 5/H L E S Prado, 115, P L Biancone
5. Get Stormy (KY), 4/C L J Castellano, 118, T M Bush
6. Rogue Victory (KY), 5/H L J R Velazquez, 114, G Weaver
7. National Kid (BRZ), 5/G L J R Leparoux, 114, R E Dutrow Jr.
8. Radical Sabbatical (KY), 5/G L R A Dominguez, 114 B Tagg