Stormy Pick, ridden by Jose C. Ferrer, captures the Grade I $200,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga Friday.

Stormy Pick, ridden by Jose C. Ferrer, captures the Grade I $200,000 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga Friday.

Associated Press/ NYRA, Adam Coglianese

Stormy Pick Wires Field for Spinaway Victory

Raymond Dweck's Stormy Pick zipped to a wire-to-wire victory over eight other 2-year-old fillies in Friday's $200,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, giving freshman sire Storm Creek a leg up on his competition in the list of leading first-crop sires. Ridden by Jose Ferrer (who scored a big win last weekend aboard Rize in the $350,000 Iselin Handicap, gr. II, at Monmouth), Stormy Pick dueled with Look of the Lynx and Queen Carson in the early going, then fought off a bid from Nasty Storm to win by two lengths. The Ben Perkins Jr.-trained filly covered seven furlongs on a fast track in 1:24 1/5 after setting fractions of :22 1/5, :45 1/5, and 1:10 1/5. Nasty Storm held second, with Seeking It All finishing third after getting off to a very slow break. Seeking It All, a New York-bred by A.P. Indy, was bet down to 7-5 favoritism after two second-place finishes, including a narrow loss to Gold Mover in the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. II). Stormy Pick paid $11.40 to win.

Stormy Pick had won three of four career starts, all at Monmouth Park, including the Sorority Stakes (gr. III) in her most recent appearance on Aug. 12 over a sloppy track. The filly out of Program Pick, by Peterhof, was bred in Florida by Harry T. Mangurian's Mockingbird Farm and was sold for $145,000 at the 1999 Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's August yearling sale. Buzz Chace, who picked her out for Dweck, told The Blood-Horse magazine that she was "the best filly in the sale."

"We knew she had a lot of speed, because coming up from Monmouth, all of those horses are fast," trainer Perkins said. "There will be a time when others will catch up to her, but she's always been a clean, sound filly. We never pressed her early. She won her first few on her own. We squeezed her when we had to; she worked so well after the Sorority, we knew she would be strong here. We'll probably give her a little break now; five starts are a lot. We'll probably try her back in the Frizette (gr. I at Belmont Oct 14)."

Grade III winner Storm Creek (by Storm Cat out of a Mr. Prospector mare) stood at Mockingbird in Ocala, Fla., where his stud fee in 2000 was $6,000. He was recently purchased for a reported $5 million and will be relocated to Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., to stand for Taylor Made and Aaron and Marie Jones. In the list of first-crop sires published in the Sept. 2 issue of The Blood-Horse, Storm Creek was second behind Friendly Lover, with earnings of $419,044 compared to $442,566 for the leader. The $120,000 winner's share of the Spinaway will put Storm Creek on the lead, at least for the time being. He's had nine winners from his first 30 starters, including one other stakes winner. (Chart, Equibase)