Bay Storm Holds Off Wakanaka In Ladies Turf Sprint

Bay Storm (inside) | Coady Photography

This year, she was on the winning side of the photo. After coming up just a nose short to MG1SW Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in this race just last year, Bay Storm (Kantharos) parlayed a victory in Ellis Park's KY Downs Preview Mint Ladies Turf Sprint S. into a win in the real thing as she held off a closing Wakanaka (Ire) (Power {GB}) right on the wire.

After making her first two starts of 2023 at Santa Anita, the 5-year-old came east and checked in a valiant second to GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Caravel (Mizzen Mast) in the Unbridled Sidney S. at Churchill May 5. Fourth beaten just a length in Belmont's Intercontinental S. June 9, Bay Storm prepped for this spot with her aforementioned win as the favorite as Ellis Park Aug. 5.

Away in the front pack Saturday in a race impacted by the post-time scratch of Gal in a Rush (Ghostzapper), the 5-2 second choice broke clear of the field in the opening furlong but was quickly joined into the turn by Tony Ann (Cairo Prince). Hugging the rail around the sweeping bend through a half in :45.80, Bay Storm exchanged minor contact with Tony Ann and held off a host of challengers to her outside including the race favorite in Wakanaka who came flying from last but just missed as the three horses hit the line together.

When asked if this win took the sting out of last year's defeat, winning trainer Jonathan Thomas answered: “Without a doubt. She really deserves this. She's got a crazy good resume. I think that's her (17th) lifetime start and she's only been off the board twice. It's a real credit to her, a graded-stakes winner. George Isaacs and the Bridlewood team have been really patient with her. It's kind of like a bow on a present. It feels good to have gotten her that win.”

“She broke in the air,” added jockey Florent Geroux. “She recovered and came back on the inside of Tyler [Gaffalione aboard Tony Ann] and made the lead. She ran great here last year on this track [losing the Ladies Sprint by a nose to Campanelle]. It was a big advantage. She is a fighter. It's very simple here, they either like it or they don't. She fought today.”

Pedigree Note:

Out of a stakes winning and graded-stakes placed dam, Bay Storm brought $400,000 as a 2-year-old at the OBS Spring 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Her winning 3-year-old half-brother, Pensacola (Into Mischief), was himself a $600,000 2-year-old out of last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale. With the win, Bay Storm becomes the 39th graded-stakes winner for sire Kantharos. Stormy Regatta has a yearling American Pharoah filly, reported a colt by Essential Quality this spring and was bred back to Justify.

Saturday, Kentucky Downs
AGS LADIES TURF SPRINT S.-GII, $900,000, Kentucky Downs, 9-9, 3yo/up, f/m, 6 1/2fT, 1:17.06, fm.
1–BAY STORM, 123, m, 5, by Kantharos
                1st Dam: Stormy Regatta (MSW & GSP, $160,310),
                                  by Midshipman
                2nd Dam: Storm Front, by A.P. Indy
                3rd Dam: Storm Alert, by Storm Cat
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($400,000 2yo '20 OBSAPR).
O-Bridlewood Farm; B-Candy Meadows LLC (KY); T-Jonathan
Thomas; J-Florent Geroux. $604,560. Lifetime Record:
17-6-6-3, $1,313,315. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or free
catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Wakanaka (Ire), 121, m, 5, Power (GB)–Storyline (Ire), by
Kodiac (GB). (£3,500 Ylg '19 GOFFPR; $975,000 RNA 4yo '22
KEENOV). O-Team Valor International and Gary Barber; B-Mrs
Jean Brennan (IRE); T-William I. Mott. $117,600.
3–Tony Ann, 121, m, 5, Cairo Prince–Never Ever, by In Excess
(Ire). 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O-A Venneri Racing, Inc. and
Anthony Fanticola; B-Alex Venneri Racing, LLC (KY); T-Philip
D'Amato. $98,800.
Margins: NK, HD, 2HF. Odds: 2.87, 2.75, 5.56.
Also Ran: Our Flash Drive, Train to Artemus, Quaria Comet, Fast and Feminine. Scratched: Gal in a Rush, Unbridled Mary.
Click for the chart or the PPs  &ref=9104432. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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