by Karen M. Johnson
Trippi’s Storm was running in maiden claiming races earlier this year. How his fortunes have changed. On Sept. 29, he was in the winner’s circle following the $250,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Ridden by Javier Castellano, Trippi’s Storm was a half-length winner over 6-5 favorite After Market. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Palace Episode in third in the mile Widener Turf race.
Trippi’s Storm returned $12.60 as the second choice in the 10-horse field. It was the 4-year-old gelding’s first stakes win.
The Kelso winner carried nine fewer pounds than the 124-pound highweight, After Market.
Trippi’s Storm came from off the pace and used a four-wide move at the quarter pole to launch his stretch run. Inside the furlong marker, Trippi’s Storm held a small advantage and then was able to hold off After Market, who raced behind the winner throughout.
The pacesetter, Jet Propulsion, faded to ninth after reeling off fractions of 23.45 seconds; 45.79; and 1:09.15. The final time was 1:32.36 over a firm course.
Stanley Hough trains Trippi’s Storm for E. Paul Robsham Stable LLC. Hough said he would consider running the Kelso winner back in the $2-million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.
“Obviously, it will be very tough,” Hough said. “We’ll see how he comes out of it. He ran back a little quick this time, and that would be a little quick again.”
For the Kelso, Hough removed the blinkers that Trippi’s Storm had worn for all but one of his previous 15 career starts.
“There was enough pace and my horse settled down beautiful for me,” Castellano said.