Gold Storm might have been bred in Kentucky, but the gelded son of Seeking the Gold
is as true a Texan as J.R. Ewing. He is owned by a pair of Dallas businessmen and resides in the barn of a Texas racing legend. If that weren't enough, he will be racing on his home turf when he takes the gate for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Trainer Bubba Cascio claimed Gold Storm for $50,000 in his first career start, a 5 1/2- furlong maiden claiming contest at Lone Start, for Jack Sweesy and Keith McKinney. He was formerly owned by fellow Texan Tom Durant and trained by Ronny Werner. Sweesy has been involved in the oil and natural gas business for many years and now is the owner of Rocky Mountain Natural Spring Water. McKinney is retired from the cargo industry.
Casico's reasoning for claiming Gold Storm was simple and easy. "I get up real early and I own a stop watch," he said with a laugh, meaning he was impressed with Gold Storm's works. "There were two horses in that race I was interested in claiming and I favored this one over the other because of his breeding."
Since coming to Casico's barn, Gold Storm has accumulated a career record of 6-1-2 in 11 starts, while winning three straight before finishing second, three-quarters of a length behind fellow Sprint rival Champali, in the Oct. 8 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
Casico, a member of the Texas Racing Hall of Fame for his days training Quarter Horses, is no stranger to preparing horses for big races. He won the All-American Futurity with Three Ohs and Rocket Wrangler in 1968 and 1970, respectively. In addition Cascio trained Quarter Horse racing's top money earning female and World Champion Dashingly and Texas Hall of Fame runner Dash For Cash to two World Champion titles.
Sweesy said he knew at the conclusion of last year that Gold Storm was blossoming into a stakes-quality horse. "After I saw his times and watched his races last year I really felt like we had a stakes caliber horse," he said. "Getting to the Breeders' Cup is like a dream come true. I told Bubba back in January how exciting it would be to have a horse in the Breeders' Cup in front of the hometown crowd and he sat down and mapped out a plan and it's almost gone to the 'T'."
Gold Storm worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 Oct. 18 and Casico said he would probably give him a two-minute lick about four days out from the race. "I think I've gotten him well prepared and he should be considered a legitimate contender," said the trainer. "I'm going to keep the same schedule with him."
As far as having the home-court advantage come Breeders' Cup day, Cascio said, "He's worked over this track his whole life and if he runs his same race he'll do good. He likes this track."