By Joe Bianca
Eclipse finalist Got Stormy (Get Stormy), a multiple Grade I winner in 2019 who blossomed from a nice minor stakes horse into a bonafide star turf filly, will look to follow in the footsteps of Mark Casse champions Tepin (Bernstein) and World Approval (Northern Afleet) when getting her 5-year-old campaign underway as a prohibitive favorite at Tampa Bay Downs in Saturday’s GIII Endeavour S.
A winner of two listed stakes and a Grade III in the summer of 2018, the chestnut was stepped up to Grade I company for the first time in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley S. Apr. 13 at Keeneland and responded with a strong third at 21-1. That was the last time she was worse than second in 2019, as she racked up wins in the GI Fourstardave H., GI Matriarch S. and De La Rose S. to go with seconds in the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile, GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile S. and GII Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile S. That resume was enough to get her on the Eclipse ballot for Champion Turf Female before her Breeders’ Cup conqueror Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) ultimately took home the trophy.
Tepin followed up her championship 2015 campaign with a dominant victory at 1-5 in the Endeavour in 2016 before eventually going on to score a seismic blow for American turf racing in the G1 Queen Anne S. at Royal Ascot that summer. Similarly, World Approval, champion of his division in 2017, started his 2018 season with a score in the local GIII Tampa Bay S., also at 1-5. Got Stormy figures to be thereabouts in the wagering too, and shows four breezes at the Casse training center since her Dec. 1 Matriarch score, capped by an easy half-mile in :50 3/5 (13/17) Jan. 29.
Of her seven potential rivals, the likely clear second choice is Don Alberto Stable’s Andina Del Sur (Giant’s Causeway). An upset victress of the GIII Florida Oaks over this course in 2018, the chestnut picked up her first win since then in the Violet S. Sept. 28 at Monmouth and added the Forever Together S. two starts later Nov. 29 at Aqueduct. She was last seen running third in the GIII Marshua’s River S. Jan. 11 at Gulfstream.